Childhood Games, by Adam L.

Childhood Games
by Adam L.

It was fun while it
lasted, the cheeky squeeze
in the curve surrounding the stomach, 
childish swats on the pimple-ridden face.
both effected and felt,
was a perpetuating cycle born into 
itself, — my psychiatrist told me —
first absorbed by the heart
as easily as the skin will sweat.

When we played the simple game
of touching each other’s bodies
too many times, always finishing 
side by side, contact shared 
so ordinarily like the yawn 
grown from a long day’s labours,
I couldn’t help but wonder
if you had enjoyed it as much as me 
or was it, to you,
a boyish fight.

I was contemplating physical touch between people of the same sex. There seemed to be a complicated set of rules for how to touch/where to touch someone; it doesn’t make it okay just because you are ‘friends’. And then there is the fear of homosexuality, as well as the need to maintain gender stereotypes (such as boys having to be rowdy and girls having to be gentle). Can we enjoy and appreciate physical touch as an expression of care and affection without any disgust?

Adam L. is learning to write without inhibitions and with utmost truth, which he thinks all writing should boast. He will be a student at the new Yale-NUS (Singapore) in the fall of 2015. Before school starts, he wants to publish his first poetry collection.

RWJ issue 4

more rwj


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