A homely baby in a school ruled by pretty
young ladies, you wear your lonely puppyfat
to the pool, swimming slow under your Speedo,
nearly twelve, invisible unless it’s
your turn to be
teased. Every girl turns, sighs: it’s handsome Jamey
... he looks right at you, waves and
calls your name!
You swim to the edge, smitten. He smiles whitely,
nothing like a shark and says, “I’ve
to show you; wanna come?” You can’t wait to see!
You flounder onto concrete and follow
flimsy suit dripping, young soul
with joy that the boy wants to be your
Down the hall in the abandoned handball
it’s just yellow flickery lights and
gritty sock dust.
The lamps snap out; the slam of the
shocking as your father’s shout.
to terror in the dark, all you can
sense is the stink
of stinging chlorine and sweat. Jamey’s
and something sticky, something rubbery
into your palm and you bolt to the
crack of light
at the door, escape as his mocking
poisonous and loud as gas grenades,
ashes you want to fall down, blow away
but you run
and don’t stop ’til you’re home to wash