One woman smelled like honey, the other like Funyuns.
I hadn't started carrying a purse yet, kept a check safe
in my sports bra. When house lights turned off I was not
centered. But nobody waits for a shadow to catch up.
One woman took measurements, the other extracted
feathers from a gallon bag. What exactly was I learning
aside from how to lean? My unremarkable thighs
clanged together like volumes of a fresh encyclopedia.
I wondered how many people had touched the clipboard.
Back then people still actively licked their fingers.
I walked everywhere, considered a coat demeaning.
My street had more boards than windows, a stray rooster.
Thinking about the moon brought collective nausea.
It was 1990 and we spent zero time pondering the future.
People always asked if I had a fever. I tested poorly.
When the flood lights powered on it felt like spit falling.
Basically it was a life with very little context beyond
yes or no. They assigned me a leotard thinner than a mask.
The only taboo was braids so loose they resembled grain.
A phone was a thing with square buttons, a wall mount.
The "hangout" a bald fire pit by warehouse tracks.
Getting high meant becoming happy, and I aspired to it.
Childhood & Coming of Age
two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit
exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally
a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”