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Aug 2016
I lay on the ground below
the curved hips of the hills at sunset
The aperture of my eyes, my ***, my eyes
and the narrow escape
of mind from body

I am ten again
and they’re calling me falsey
“*******, No bra!”
Shoving them into the lockers
of Holy Name’s pool
My eyes? Brown. My hair? Brown
My body? Invisible, lean and “Leave me alone!
or I’ll punch your lights out!”

Meanwhile, Mom is mortified
but not cause I’m banned from the stupid pool

All I want— is to run bare to the waist
Ride my bike, maniacal  
Be a bird
Swipe ice from the milk truck
Marvel over maggots in garbage
Catch toads, caterpillars, pollywogs in jars

Later, sell lemonade— get rich!
…and pretend…pretend…
till the litany of our names, hollered from the porch
till the street lights come on….

“This is for something you haven’t got yet”
says the matron of the fitting room
Bones in a bathing suit?
What I haven’t got?
or they haven’t got?
will never get—
in their worlds of curtained cubicles
Cause of death:
Strangulation by measuring tape!

In my plaid two-piece
sunburned shoulders, wind-wild hair
By sweat and the afternoon’s imaginings
I built a fortress of sand and stones
to endure forever….

But she— shook the blanket
at the tide’s full reach
Peppered the air with an epoch
Clouds darkening
the wind-torqued sea

Finding my flip-flops, we—
    trudged off…
    into the changing… changing
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