We boys had myriad hands,
for the hands, not the penis,
were the measure of a man.
In the game of Drive-in,
the goal line was never crossed
(at least no time soon), yet
the hands were expected to be
always searching for that sweet
valentine hidden in her clothes,
though mostly all it really was
was holding hands, for she
would deftly counter your
movements, swiftly grab your
hand and gently move it
back to the starting position.
So you’d settle again into
the lull of kissing, then
subtly, smoothly as possible,
begin to strive again for those
precious treats there in her blouse
or the bonanza at the top of
her smooth bare leg. At the Moonlit,
the disappointment of the evening
might be panty-hose, or, worse,
a girdle, that not-so-subtle finality.
The girdle was dating armor,
the chastity belt of 1965, and
when you encountered its steel
smoothness at the top of a soft thigh
your heart would slow and you’d
hear inside of that tongueless kiss
the sound of your own sigh.
Mac Gay’s latest is Farm Alarm, runner up for the Robert Phillips Poetry Prize, out last July from Texas Review Press. Ghost Hunt is forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing, Ltd. in early 2021. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and The Raintown Review. He teaches at Perimeter College of Georgia State University.