That First Kiss

What was cute in the beginning
irritated in the end.
Behaviors initially overlooked as not a big deal
were the tips of icebergs floating
in a treacherous sea of unspoken rules and expectations.
Division of skirt-work and trouser-work sounded cute
until it meant being stifled in a fixed role
without the hope of growth.
I took a gamble on you, me, on us,
but now I wish I could’ve broken up with you
before our lips ever touched.


Raud Kennedy is a dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. More of his work can be found at

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