Friday, April 9, 2010

13.30 what you didn't know

a cat recounting lives
you remember how you earned your stripes
the way your skin found sheen
cub then, cougar now

you didn't know you were a slut
other girls became disappearing acts
teen pregnancy statistics revolving
through the nurse's office with streaked faces

spring dawns and the smell of fresh cut grass
almost leaves the cross hatch patterns on your thighs
of soccer field, baseball sideline, park
the racing heart of almost-searchlight caught

all those fingers reaching, sprouting, nervous fumble
the taste of lipgloss, nibbled tip of honeysuckle
fullness of moon glowing over sparkled trails
those stamens in your mouth, petal cheeks blushing

your back knew borrowed cars as rooms
the wood of picnic table, church basement, wood pylon
the splash of waves on your ankles in time
with tongues and palms

an ink blotter--that's what you were
picking up lessons with every grift, every doughy roll
each gift of freckle and frond
imprinting, staining, twining up the trellis of you

and now you are keeper of this particular photo album
an information of faces, knowledge of orgasm pose
one or another echoing with conversations, shared frailties
confidences, tears, the intimacies of repeated meetings

a few stand out
alone, always fresh, always young
your spine remembering how that one held you
next to a lake, the feel of maple bark rippling skin

how strange to be by yourself on a couch
in this life that didn't quite turn out
the way you never could have predicted
from crocus days of small blooming

in twilight, you hear of one of them passing
and think it unusual to be old enough to have such ghosts
not that you would ever be with them as grown
just that they are secured as amber frozen young
like your memory.

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