First Love: A Quiz by A. E. Stallings

He came up to me:
a. in his souped-up Camaro
b. to talk to my skinny best friend
c. and bumped my glass of wine so I wore the
ferrous stain on my sleeve
d. from the ground, in a lead chariot drawn by
a team of stallions black as crude oil and
breathing sulfur: at his heart, he sported a
tiny golden arrow.

He offered me:
a. a ride
b. dinner and a movie, with a wink at the
c. an excuse not to go back alone to the
apartment with its sink of dirty knives
d. a narcissus with a hundred dazzling petals
that breathed a sweetness as cloying as

I went with him because:
a. even his friends told me to beware
b. I had nothing to lose except my virginity
c. he placed his hand in the small of my back
and I felt the tread of honeybees
d. he was my uncle, the one who lived in the
half-finished basement, and he took me by
the hair

The place he took me to:
a. was dark as my shut eyes
b. and where I ate biter seed and became ripe
c. and from which my mother would never take me
wholly back, though she wept and walked the
earth and made the bearded ears of barley
wither on their stalks and the blasted
flowers drop from their sepals
d. is called by some men hell and others love
e. all of the above


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