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

 

 

Grow up

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.

 

Write obscenities

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.

 

Bloat yourselves

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.

 

Play

at stealing stepfathers’ cars

at stealing stepfathers’ booze.

It’s easy that it’s so easy

and pretend to laugh and

keep driving

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.

 

Boil

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.

 
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