Your wrinkled skin,
is soft and awkward
in my fumbling hands.
Gripping your arm like a paper crane,
pushing through your corduroy skin
the slightest squeeze might break you.
Like my first dance in grade seven
I hold you, clumsily
keeping distant in this close contact
as I search for your quiet pulse.
My sheepish grin meets
your crinkled smile,
reassuring, like an older lover.
It’s alright to be nervous your first time.
Braids of sweat gather as
this simplest skill.
Your every beat a defiant laugh
Blasting through your weary wrist
It patters on my fingers
But hammers heavy on my heart.
by David Sheps