Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


First Love

The boy beside me
is not you but he
is familiar in all

the important ways.
I pass through life
finding you over

and over again—
oppress you
with love. And every

surrogate?
Afflicted by my
kindness, they leave

me with my music.
I loved you before
I ever loved you.

Credit


Copyright © 2015 by Jennifer Franklin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 9, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“This poem was written on a napkin in Brandy’s Piano Bar in New York’s upper east side. Brandy’s is a remnant of old(er) New York where a solo featured pianist and a handful of bartenders take turns playing 80s ballads, Bob Dylan, and standards. We arrived, close to last call on a bitterly cold February night, after a new friend and I filled in on my brother’s Wednesday night trivia team at the Banshee Pub nearby. Just before close, two patrons asked if they could usurp the piano and mic for a three-song set. They were brilliant. Their set happened to be the nostalgia of my childhood jukebox, presented as spontaneous and ironic, but nonetheless sincere and therefore sad.”
Jennifer Franklin

Author


Jennifer Franklin

Jennifer Franklin is the author of No Small Gift (Four Way Books, forthcoming 2018).

Date Published: 2015-06-09

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/first-love