Various and Sundry Poetry


The girl wasn't fifteen anymore, had been
finicky, mostly, about the boys
(who seemed to be taking forever to grow up),
and also, for her, there was a certain fanaticism around sex,
because of her dad, she thought - he was the one
flinging statistics about the frightening STDs in the news lately.
Although, to be fair, no one really sat her down, gave filibusters
about how truly unforgiving fucking could be. So the girl
simply fantasized, sometimes, fabricating scenarios, finding
fresh ideas in a February Playboy issue some friend had
finagled out of an older brother's unsuspecting mattress.

And then, finally, four long weeks after college freshman orientation,
salvation arrived in the form of a fickle sophomore, who did manage
to wait faithfully for the first week to pass before finding his way
toward the fault line of his own zipper, his other fingers
searching in a kind of fury
for the infinitessimally small clasp of the girl's bra.

She wasn't quite ready for a touch like that - frantic, feckless,
full of flaws, which is what this was, of course, in the end,
but in the first throes of romance, and because the girl knew fairly little,
she returned the boy's French kiss,
gave the thighs of his freshly laundered jeans
a featherlight touch, a filmy suggestion of what those fingers
could actually do, even if she didn't know how,
and the jeans where his thighs met did not stay flat for much longer.

Eventually, flitting about the boy, finding some flimsy foothold
in the waistband of the jeans, she eased the fabric down,
though with much less finesse that she'd have liked. Above her, the boy
flung aside the football jersey he was wearing and then, in a flourish,
like a time bomb ticking, his boxers were finished, too,
down to the front lines of his ankles, and the girl felt fear
for the first time.

Still, she closed her eyes, and thus blind, was suddenly desperate
for instructions, a folio of guidelines, with pictures and
easy fonts, any fortification to help minister her fumblings.
Instead, she put on a friendly face, gave a small, fetal sigh
while the boy's flagpole tilted up a notch.

The girl's hands flew to her mouth, and then her mouth,
like a fallen bird,
floated downward to the fertile vertex of the boy's thighs,
where his own hand lay fragile, trembling, almost female.
The girl took a few full breaths before descending and then
it didn't matter what she didn't know because a certain fervor took hold,
this foreign thing, right here, right now,
and her heart fibrillated at the first touch
her lips made to his flexing nethers.

Knealing, she forgot herself, forgot what freshman meant, forgot
the flagellating women she'd found in Playboy, heard only
the boy's plaintive, feral yearning, the way, suddenly
he was all hers, one locked muscle of utter fealty,
stretching toward her like a growing fever, like a fiberoptic cable,
like a werewolf howling silent at a full moon.

And though something inside her knew this was merely
one moment's fidelity, the boy's mind fixating on her
for this fleeting pleasure only, she let herself believe the lie,
that he was hers forever, just this once forever,
which gave her full permission to fake this thing,
unfurl herself from shy girl fame, slide another skin on,
leave some other fingerprint behind.
It required no fortitude, really, just a little
flexibility, some fluffing up, a frameless fantasy
of what feminine could look like if you just
folded yourself away for awhile,
turned opaque as fog, let your eyes go soft focus,
and free-fall.