First Date

by | Feb 26, 2023 | Poetry

FIRST DATE by Michelle Matz

In 5th grade I cheated in a spelling bee,
the final word – equator – visible

on the blow-up globe hanging from
the ceiling. It’s a small story,

the dollar-bin stuff of life
that years later, still clutters.

We were sitting at a cafe drinking
coffee, the tables pressed close

together. You leaned across
and in a sure, even voice, substituted

the o with an e. Sometimes sorrow
sharpens itself against stone,

sometimes against light.
That’s right, I answered,

leaning my chair against the wall.

Photo by Greg Dunlap, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author


Michelle Matz’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in numerous publications, including Mud Season Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, So To Speak, Natural Bridge, and New Delta Review. She has won the Mary Merritt Henry Prize for a group of poems, was a semifinalist in The Ledge Press Manuscript Contest, and was awarded an Individual Artist Grant through the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her chapbook, Atilt, was published by Finishing Line Press. Michelle lives in San Francisco with her daughter and is a high school dean.