I once kissed a boy under a palm tree. His skin was very dark and smooth under my fingers and I kept tracing the edges of his cheekbones with the tip of my nails. He had a sweet smile, vibrant and true. He spoke a language I barely understood.
I was sixteen. Of all the pretty foreign girls that were there he had come to me and talked to me and held my hand in front of the corner store. I was both charmed and skeptical, but decided not to care. We drank dark bitter rum from large bottles and danced in crowded dark rooms to Bob Marley songs. I tried my best to learn how to move my hips and my feet in sensual ways. I was always so stiff, my body like earth. I never could comprehend the fluidity of water, though I knew how to hold fire. He placed feathery kisses along my jawline and let me moved against him without once laughing at my inadequacy.
I left with a quick kiss on the cheek and a wave through the bus window. I never spoke to him again. But still, I remember his name and it makes me smile. And sometimes the wind blows the right way and I think I can smell sugarcane and pineapples, and when I do, I can almost still taste him on my lips, all sunshine salt and mango juice.