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