no one said anything when you asked if anyone wanted to begin sharing their poetry. this happens every week, and usually someone volunteers a few seconds after the original question, hesitant but valiant. then we make our way around the circle from there, and we get to everyone eventually. on the day in question, however, no one stepped forward to be the first. we all looked at each other a bit awkwardly, and i snuck a glance at you. your eyes glittered back at me, immediately and delightfully green.
i stuttered out a protest, flinging my hands in front of my face. "wh—no! why me?"
"we made eye contact!" you said brightly. i peeked out from behind my fingers, and you winked at me. "we made eye contact."
but no, max, we didn't make eye contact because i wanted to read my poetry first today. we made eye contact because i wanted to stare at you. because i wanted to tap out notes on my phone about how your eyes are the color of fairytales. because i wanted to think about how every time our eyes meet, a bolt of the purest blue goes shooting down my spine. there's sunlight in your gaze—a golden haze filtered through the soft shapes of tree limbs–and i want to focus in on every detail. but to do that i have to look at you. i had to look at you, max.
i had to look at you.