by JoAnna Novak
A few seconds under the past’s broil,
I left roofs to boys. Girl I was
always afraid, untouched, finger
banged, hugged too clumsy-rough. Move
your sex, said sister. Taste and see,
congregation sang to Father John, achy
breaky hymns, hairy hunky haunched, anyone
limbed I wanted wet yesterday of
ordinary time. He could wear green Umbros,
gluey hands, smell like Great White Shark
fruit snacks. He could mouth his lips, slap
bracelet my heart. I was gather and cathedral
calories, bagged wafers, wash chalice, suede
choker, wooden T, pinch the blood-gulp, dozing Christ. He waited
to spring awake. He writhed and worked
my sins, an extra lap
around the mall. Outside lithe bustles I never
became. Polished. Women, please
have me. O use your bruisey boots, purple, punkish, green,
oil and mud and hair dye draining, and, ooh
wash away my glitter and Jello-juice, Dad’s
gaskets, a hurricane lassies do not make.
One pipe, one gear, plastic crack adventure, wishes and scabs.
Fantasy of gal-palling
with anyone, dark-haired, ghoul-eyed,
summer camp, bunkbed singalongs, horrorshocks, gleeped chocolate
gulped grog, scritched mosquitos, kisses, bloodpooling. Badness
shook her finger, pointy, pointy knife. I spread
these thighs for myself, girl
I trained myself to loathe, like, gag-me pickled beets or eeny meeny teeny weenie short short man
I blushed off callers, brushed
back hair. Smooth crowns
belonged to the others, that
What will it take to belong, to quit
wanting a slab of swaggy layer cake?
Do I swipe frosting and offer it up?
Mary, my pinky.
Veronica, my toes.