Blushing at a Distance

2018 Barrett Winner

3rd Place Brendon Vincent

The first time we met
was at a greyhound station in the hills of Tennessee.
Even though we had known each other for well over a year.
If anything,
my visit was overdue.
It's funny how I decided to look so far away for companionship.
Based out of Metro Detroit,
there were plenty of options nearby.
Kids in my high school were out and open, about who they were and who they liked
yet I hesitated to do the same. As if there was an uncertainty and a fear built out of it.
That sense of distance created a sense of security.
Online, there is a seemingly endless Web of places to find
A pseudo relationship.
You could have a fling
if they were close enough. And flirtatious conversations if the distance was too great was a common occurrence.
At first your name was nothing
more than text on a computer's screen.
Then it started to form these witty comments that peeked my interest.
To my surprise clicking on your name brought up this profile
of a dashing young man
with quiet eyes and a sly smile, or maybe I was just projecting
what I wanted.
So we played a few games.
Light conversation turned into countless late hours on the phone.
Jokes and teasing became a jesting temptation;
you could never see Me blushing
from so far away.
Over time things deepened
that bond became a cornerstone in my daily routine.
One night I sent you a song,
Duke Ellington's I'm Beginning to See the Light.
One week later I confessed my affections were stronger than I could ever plan.
That vulnerability is terrifying. You called me,
Immediately, in tears,
to say the same,
and how desperately
I wanted to kiss you then. No other joy can double as such a torment.
The first time we met
I stepped off of a greyhound bus in the hills of Tennessee.
after a year's worth of want. You smiled,
I blushed back.