Sunday, December 15, 2013

Catholic School Memory

Hipless and uniformed in plaid 
I hid in the closet with a bully girl
in the hopes shed like me after
we'd undressed, sucked each other's teeth,
shown each other our flat, hairless parts.
Where were the nuns
to finger a cross on my forehead in ash?
We wanted to be glamorous-- rolled
paper into pixi-stick tubes to set on fire, smoked
till our lungs, fingers burned. Her name
was Julia which had to be the prettiest
sounding bully name ever there was. Seems like
she was always wanting
to take me into that closet, I too was wanting
her long brown hair as my own.
I knelt often those years, it felt holy-- even when knees
skinned stuck to the leather kneelers at mass,
the altar boys knocking incense chambers
left to right down the aisle, dressed in white
robes. After school I'd slap-bracelet
my girl-arm, hang upside down
till my head filled with ocean sounds.

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