We’re Young and This Is the Beginning by Kory Wells

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We’re Young and This Is the Beginning

Evening we walk a garden of amethyst
marvels—structures and steel, pylons
and progress, burst-blossoms of light.
Between skyscrapers we gather close
our coats as steam swoops
from the underground, nearby
the scent of coffee and yeast
almost enough to tempt our course.

Earlier, I took your hand for the first time,
inked on your palm an address.
This is where I want us to go, that word, us,
hanging like the full moon in tonight’s dark
blue note of sky. Now, blocks away, sirens.
A woman pilfers a trashcan for dinner.
A man dead-walks into stopped traffic,
palms high. As if it will ease the desperation,
you reach for my hand. Or do I reach
for yours? We are new and believe
we need an excuse to touch.

Above us, rows and rows of windows,
like diamonds in a jeweler’s case, flash
with a thousand shiny promises. Flash
like a fevered undoing of buttons and cuffs.

At an open door we find our belonging—
a woman in jazz club shadow-smoke,
her mouth at the mic a bloom of orchid,
her voice a plume of pleasure and truth.

She sings our fortune.

Later, the streets all but empty, we walk
and walk and my shoes rub blisters but
we’re hand in hand—what’s a little pain?
Beside us the topaz river glints.

Kory Wells

Kory Wells is author of HEAVEN WAS THE MOON, a poetry chapbook from March Street Press. After many years in software development, she now works as a writer and advocate for the arts, democracy, afternoon naps, and other good causes. Her work appears in ASCENT, POEM, UNSPLENDID, THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY, and other publications. A two-time Rash Award finalist, Kory lives near Nashville and mentors poetry students in the low-residency program MTSU Write. Learn more and connect with her at about.me/korywells