John Grey

Museum of First Love

When you visit

the museum of first love

it helps to have a snapshot

of the girl in question.

If not, you could be scratching your head

as you eye so many different faces.


Memory is unreliable:

was she a blonde

or brunette?

were her eyes

blue or green?

was she in the same class at school

or a neighbor?


The museum is huge

and the signs are

not easy to follow,

especially the ones

that are years gone by

and point toward

a room that’s nothing

but fog.


But there’s plenty

of places to sit,

rest the tired feet,

contemplate what

you’re doing there

in the first place.


Maybe there’s a feeling

that won’t quit,

that first love was

the best love ever,

and everything after that

has been, on reflection,

a total disappointment.


You were hopeful then.

Anything was possible.

And your eye, your head,

your heart, were never so aligned,

never so gloriously captivated.

The girl hardly mattered.

The intense, consuming feelings were all yours.


Maybe you don’t need

that snapshot after all.

When you visit

the museum of first love,

you’ll be the one

you get to see.


                                                             © John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.