Forget how it was to touch
Pack, like meat, tight tin and city bus faces,
spill in total silence, spill toward yourself,
and pull your skirt down to hide your knees.
Tiptoe and table talk through wet forest
and pastel whispers that hide between the sheets
with our humid-close mouths, slick-wet legs, skin, twist,
and secrets kept like lovers who sleep too late into the afternoon.
Cast glances between crowds of pale blue and skipped classes.
Sip soul mates and salty water.
Spoil like lemon in vodka.
Taste all sweetness between your teeth,
floss me out with shoestring and fitful sleep.
Pass out on the couch, you know the owner’s face, not his name.
Want so bad to be the sashes, the silk,
floating and shirking through air like spiders and webs
riding the wind over stagnate spaces in the river.
Dip toes, too warm in a humid summer that feels as wrong
and different as any other summer.
Pull knees up to chest and find ways to touch skin,
try and touch and remember how it was to touch.
Were you happier then, or did you just forget how to be?
When growing up was about who could do it first
in the insides of cars.
Cite dashed yellow lines and
poorly marked freeway exits
for rearing and birds and bees.
Black asphalt teaches how to be dark
and streetlamp artificial light teaches how
to be you.
on the backs of bus seats
and empty your stomachs
of personality, worn proudly on cheap
leather jackets, liberty spikes and safety pins
or in the chemical in
hair dye that kills your hair,
the same one that stains blue the bottom of the sink.
on punk rock decades old
and pretend to know the bands
on each others’ black t-shirts.
Never notice you sang the same
songs your parents did
about hating your parents.
at stealing stepfathers’ cars
at stealing stepfathers’ booze.
It’s easy that it’s so easy
and pretend to laugh and
when sisters of sisters puke and cry
out of rolled-down windows.
Look for drugs
like excuses because you’ve
seen and read and heard
that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Drink and smoke with ease
but look at each other
in sideways glances
before putting pills in your mouths
or needles in your skin.
Spoil your dinners
with boys much older
because boys your own age won’t
know what to do with your pushing.
Know about sex by pretending
to know about sex,
the same way you know about most things.
in effervescent attitudes
and turn on your own
as often as you lash at others.
Prove you are different
by all being the same.
There is no distinction
between different and special.
Bake and beat
like eggs all twisted up into
people you don’t know how
you got mixed in with.
Choose to grow up in cars
because cars move faster
than everything else.