When I was married, if a woman flirted with me,
I could count on a nuclear barrage when I got home;
even if I didn’t flirt back, all hell broke loose
she threw things or threw things at me
and there was no protection, like when I was in elementary school
and we had ‘duck and cover’ exercises getting under our desks,
as if that was going to make any difference
if an atomic bomb went off at the refinery a handful of miles away.
Nukes are no longer part of my daily life
that arms race I just walked away from
so now I can just figuratively sit back
and enjoy flirting, the energy, the fun, the playfulness,
although with you, well, the heat was almost
as fierce as a bomb blast, when you touched
my leg with your foot, or took my hand
and placed it on your ass, even though I had set
the container to only be making out,
that was a difficult, I should say hard, moment
to withdraw from.
Flirting is location and person specific.
Flirting is the wind going through the trees in my back yard,
sitting crosslegged on my couch, wanting to look
at your short skirt when it rides up, but instead
looking at your face, thinking about how your lips
will feel against mine. Flirting is the connection
when I put my arm across the back of the couch
and touch your shoulder. We talk about our histories, music, friends.
Your eyes are shining, radiant.
The energy of flirting is the energy
of fucking, 100 times slower; approach, withdraw; enter your space
move away, a little, from your space, each time a little farther in,
savoring the connection as much as I savored the salad you made me for supper.