Friday, March 8, 2013

6

When I was 13 I rode quietly in the back seat of our family car. My older brother was in town and he was taking us to Taco Bell. Just the kids. My sister, who must have been 16 sat in the front and the two of them talked about high school. The windows were down so the wind was loud. I think it was July. Sticky.
How many boys have you kissed?
My sister said nothing.
What a stupid question, I thought. None. I would've known. And besides, kissing is gross. Or it's for grown ups. Or people who don't go to church.
Come on. How many?
Another pause. And then fingers shooting up on two hands--
6.
The wind pushed my hair into my face. 6?
With tongue?
6.
What do you think?
Not bad!

In the back seat now my hair was strangling me. Or, no, I had put it in a ponytail.
And they kept talking but my hands were sweaty and I couldn't hear.
Maybe I was praying?
I got a taco.
And I shut my door when we got home.
And 3 months later I kissed a boy in his basement without tongue
and I got older
and quieter.
Because I heard 6
but I didn't hear the rest.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3

on a couch from the 80s
take me back in time.
not too fast floral print--
his steel beard shakes
his glasses forward.
my dress is small and whirring.
take me in the delorean
to white cold november to
before i met you, wool coat,
on a couch such as this

2

I remember a time freshman year when no one came to my choir concert.
I wandered through the crowd afterward chin up in my sparkly dress all the way out the door and back to my apartment alone
in the dark.

I wonder, 4 years before that, if the cheerleader in the children's ensemble for the tri-state area felt alone when she told us what the doctors had told her. Cancer. Leukemia. The soprano section sank around her like the Marys at Golgotha and the mee-meh-mahs hung still on the pianists hands and I wonder what she must have felt.

And 4 years before that there was Amanda. Who drank formula and brought 02 tanks to school. Too young to spell her name right every time. She smelled like hospitals and smiled like an angel and then one day she just didn't come in. It was in the middle of the fall. Did anyone attend the funeral?

I remember feeling like a sparkly island once
and often
but many girls do
through harder times.

1

While Our Mothers Worked

In the trailer park behind my house
Ashley got pregnant
Jenny slept with the bus driver
and Sarah cut her wrists

In the woods behind the trailer park behind my house
we found an old washer
in a train car
and played house

In the creek by the woods behind the trailer park
behind my house
the water froze
and we burried
dead bunnies in a shoebox
beneath the ice while our mothers worked