I was almost eighteen when I met Nasrene within the incense-heavy cloud of a place called Dejoulle African on Cascade Road. I came armed with a “best of” selection of poems, which were all I was writing for public consumption at the time.

I was one of the last readers of the evening. So I was happy for the little applause that I got. The club’s closing tradition involved standing in a circle, holding hands, and repeating a mantra (which I’ve long since forgotten). When in Rome I do as is custom. When the circle shattered she was standing there, a pure chocolate goddess standing 5’8 high. She had on these silver frames with no glass in them and a long crocheted dress that looked like something fresh out of Woodstock. She listened as I spoke to others giving me praise. She was waiting for me.

I walked her back to the front gate at Spelman. It turned out she was from a town not far from my own. A day later we’re sitting under the tree next to the student parking lot. Using a pencil, she sketched my face on a big pad. She wanted to know me. She wanted to be with me. I wanted to be with her. It had never and would never be that simple again.

It was only a few days later that she led up the two flights of stairs to her dorm room. During the single hour (out of two semesters) that I managed to pry my roommate from the other side of my room, she had swallowed me whole with the trifecta of force, rhythm and endurance. It was my first time and the moment where I definitely understood why so many dudes hailed the blowjob as the best experience of their young lives.

The grin on her face those few days later had been both shy and mischievous. I was afraid to touch her. I didn’t want to mess it up. I didn’t want to make mistakes. It was both nothing and everything like what I had imagined, not the self-serving act captured in present-day porn, but a flood of warmth and intensity that had taken me beyond the known universe for six minutes of pleasure. I was in love. But that, however, had been a mere prelude to the real deal.

I had been hard from the moment she scribbled the question on a slip of paper and handed it to me just as my roommate reentered the room. It read: “Do you want to have sex?”

We couldn’t get to her dorm fast enough.

I remember the way she smelled as she wiggled her panties over an ass God had taken with. A single drop of wetness ran down the inside of her thigh. I did a double take. She couldn’t have been that turned on already.
She dropped Janet’s Janet into the changer and “Throb” burst through the speakers as she pulled me on top of her. Her tongue deliciously knotted with mine before it traveled into various unchartered territory.

Her hands and her lips and her feet and her ass were a well-oiled machine that I tried to drive pro, even though I barely had a learner’s permit. She was in total control, even though I was the one on top. I tried to create a rhythm, moving in time with her hips. I wanted to have absolutely nothing in common with the subject of BWP’s famed classic, “Two-Minute Brother”.

And I didn’t. As a matter of fact it went on for far longer than even she would have wanted.. Some kind of way she came, and if she didn’t, her performance, complete with moaning and trembling, was worthy of critical acclaim.

We pushed and pulled until the hourglass ran out on male visitation. Then we danced the night away at Dejoulle, on the same floor where we’d met not long before.

The next day she brought a Tupperware container filled with rotini and marinara. The sauce was sugary sweet as she fed it to me under a streep lamp in the parking lot outside of my dorm. I could tell that she’d put a lot into it. She wanted our meal to matter.

In the weeks that followed she would give me a private class in Intercourse 101, a series of nightly expeditions into all that the dudes back home claimed to know about, but most likely did not.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t get to cook for her in those days, that timing and circumstance made it impossible to express my appreciation for her many gifts. Even when I saw her the last time, just before she married one of the truly good guys, I know that she still cares, as do I. That’s what love is.