Love’s First Spark

Mary Keating
2 min readJun 24, 2021

It’s decades since I last laid my eyes upon his sun spun hair and deep green eyes reminiscent of the sea that took his life. Our love still haunts my heart. Sometimes I wonder if he is haunting me now.

We were part of a group of teenagers off on a two-week house painting excursion at the lake house of his aunt, far from the familiar coastal waters that bordered our hometown and far from parental oversight. Even though his cousin was my best friend and he was just a grade above me in high school, we had never met until that summer.

I don’t remember anything about painting the house or how we ended up in a canoe, alone in the middle of a lake on star-studded summer night where the air caressed our skin with its sweet temperature. But our first kiss — that memory lingers.

What we talked about before he first kissed me and what we talked about afterward, all those words dissipated long ago except his question:

“Is it okay if I kiss you?”

I almost laughed. What teenager asks that before making the big move? I guess one in the middle of a lake sitting on a tippy canoe opposite his current attraction. How else could he explain standing up and walking toward me. That maneuver isn’t done, ever, without some decent premise. That maneuver will rock any boat but is destined to rock a canoe — maybe even flip it.

The stillness of that night merged the lake and the sky suspending us in those primordial elements where I could have hung forever with him in a time beyond time. Unfortunately, excited electrons must keep moving.

We were acrobats on a high-tension wire. The canoe swayed with every step, as we tried to keep our equilibrium — an impossible feat when passion surges, sending ripples echoing through eternity.

As he bent to embrace me, he eclipsed the sky. His eyes replaced the moon and stars and filled me with electricity as his lips alighted upon mine like butterfly wings.

Such unexpected delicateness intoxicated me. I craved his touch with increasing intensity as his lips flitted on and off mine. My nipples rose. His mouth, wet and warm, covered my ear arousing me as his tongue and breath moved down my neck and back to my lips. Then his tongue entered my mouth bonding me to him.

We forgot everything. Time, space, and water. Oh yes, the water.

As we fell head over heels in love, we fell head over heels into the lake — our love baptized in true love’s first kiss. Water did nothing to dampen love’s first spark emblazoned forever in my mind.

© Mary Keating 2018



Mary Keating Lawyer, disability advocate, Wheelchair rider. Published in SFWP, Sixfold, Scribes Micro Fiction (Poetry Editor). 2x Pushcart nominee.