(Photo courtesy of Jessica Perez)
East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Poem: I remember falling in love in East LA

I remember standing outside of class and him looking at me like I was the only girl in the room.

I remember smiling and giggling nervously as I entered class feeling his eyes still on me.

I remember him observing me for days looking for a way to approach me.

I remember receiving Snapchat requests millions of times, feeling the vibration of my phone in my pocket each time.

I remember receiving his message, every word that he wrote to me is forever recorded in my memories.

I remember the first time we hung out, both of us were nervous, I heard his voice shake as he spoke worrying he’d say the wrong thing.

I remember our first date, we went to Starbucks, he’d study me while I took sips of my cold drink that tasted like caramel.

I remember he bought me roses, no one has ever gotten me roses before, they were red and smelled like nature.

I remember standing on the edge of a hill looking at the view ahead of us and watching the day end next to each other.

I remember when he asked me to be his girlfriend, “Jessica I don’t want to be friends anymore,” looking at me with puppy eyes hoping for me to say yes.

I remember the first time we kissed, his lips were warm and pressed against mine, it was the sweetest thing.

I remember our adventure to Six Flags, he was scared to hold my hand during a ride, it was his first time going.

I remember when he told me he loved me for the first time outside my geometry class next to a water fountain I was speechless.

I remember saying our goodbyes as we entered our next class and “I love you” slipped out of my lips without me realizing it.

I remember the huge smile on his face as he processed what I had said, while I nervously entered class processing what just happened myself.

I remember staying up all night talking on the phone waiting for the clock to hit 12 a.m., we made 2 months that night.

I remember all our dates to Dave’s 2 For 1 Pizza, pizza is our thing.

I remember the taste of brisk ice tea on his lips as I kiss him gently.

I remember going to the beach and spending the day in each other’s arms watching the sun go down.

I remember buying him a watch as a token of my love for him, he wears it every day.

I remember the dinner party where he ate so much he was having trouble breathing and hearing my own laughter as he tried catching his breath.

I remember laughing so much to the point my stomach hurt and I had to pee, all because of him.

I remember when I realized I don’t want this relationship end, I need him like the oxygen I breath.

I remember smell of his cologne in the summer breeze, it smelled like home.

I remember gazing into his eyes and glimpsing our future in his eyes, realizing how much I love him.

I remember summer ending and all the memories we had together flowing in mind making me feel giddy.

I remember how it feels when I’m with him, the butterflies in my stomach are active.

I remember feeling the rush of his love flowing through me as he kisses my forehead and tells me he loves me.

I remember dances so much at homecoming feeling each other’s vibrations as we groove together.

I remember feeling so connected as we danced slowly to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran at homecoming.

I remember my feet hurting so much because of the dancing and his warm hands massaging my feet.

I remember the fights we get into the feeling of being scared that our fighting will end our relationship.

I remember him saying that no matter how bad the fighting gets, we are stuck with each other for life, because we have forever.

I will forever remember the summer where I fell in love for the first time in East Los Angeles, the city of love.

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