Loves Before                                                                           by Julie Ramon

You turn it: a button you do and undo  
with your pink tongue. Sometimes you  
release me and look up. Our eyes meet.  
I’ve read bees do the same. They hover and search  
the shape of our faces: the difference from one to another.  
Like your father you too want to believe I never loved  
before, held someone so close, pressed their lips against  
mine. This isn’t true. I too was once looking to be found,  
a small curious object on the ground: a green marble, a broken  
pendant that was placed against another’s warmth and moved  
place to place. My pieces, like purple clovers, grew,  
changed, took over a field in Kansas next to roaming cows.  
   
The warm sun floats through you, through me:  
a call, an answer, and the past swallowed quickly down.  

Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma.  She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, sons, and daughter.  

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals asTheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review.  Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.   

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