It must have been the penny she plucked
from the puddle of Parisian rainwater. Copper
pulled from month-old street juice and urine.
It must have been the boy on the carousel.
His wave to maman. The lion he sat upon,
her garish smile, brassy little queen.
Or the music. Notes thrown to the afternoon
like bread crumbs to the scattering of pigeons.
It must have been the old man hawking spun sugar.
The young couple kissing on the park bench,
jeans so tight the seams should have split, exposing
hairless thighs, creamy skin, undergarments.
Were they wearing undergarments? If so, it must
have been the undergarments. It must have been
their tongues touching like two throbbing heart valves,
the wings they were sprouting in their minds.
Or their mind, rather—just the one. Haven’t we all
been there? Isn’t someone always crouched behind
the bleachers, or soaking up grass stains on a
deserted soccer field, learning that the tongue is
the strongest muscle in the human body?
Or is that just a myth as well? Something that
teenage boys tell teenage girls in the backs of cars,
fingers on elastic, ecstatic with sweat. Come on.
Come on. Just this once let me get lucky.