the missed spaces, the missed places, the missed times, the missed rhymes, the missed persons I could have been or will be, the fear that restricts me, the choices that elate me, the food that prolongs, the life that kills and opens and winds up and scares and tears and screws, inspires and heightens and pitches and rolls and drowns and crowns and takes hold of and molds and breaks and pours into and empties and burns.

and here we steal away together

things that happened that hurt ∆ things i did that felt good

in my bedroom, in the back of our house, second floor. i had not yet begun menstruating. i remember scratching my butt and pee hole and folds between. i called this part of my body, my twinky. itching. tingling. scratching. mother bending down. speaking. goodnight. kiss. my fingers under my face, cozy, hands under head. snuggling. smelling. mother stops moving. silent. hand around wrist leading arm pulling body, left, corner, hall, left, corner, bathroom, sink, water. feeling nauseous. something is different. wrong. knowing i am not understanding. sweating. heart beating fast.

on the linoleum floor, kitchen of our house. i had not yet begun menstruating. i remember lying right side down, foot, ankle, knee, hip, arm, shoulder, ear against cool, smooth ground. pulling knees toward face, face sliding to knees. touch. hard knees to hard forehead. playing. learning. opposite. pushing feet away from head. sliding. arching. belly stretching. open. bendy. fast. fun. curling into ball pushing away arching back. again. again. whipping body spinning in circles. heart beating fast.

family vacation at the shore, walking with my sister down the street toward our cottage. i had not yet begun menstruating. group of boys looking. watching. turning toward my sister and i. feeling nauseous. something is different. wrong. crying. knowing i am not understanding. sweating. heart beating fast.

in my bedroom in the back of our house, second floor. i had not yet begun menstruating. clinging to cool metal frame of red bunk bed. grinding. pressing twinky against metal. harder. pressing bones underneath twinky against metal. feeling nauseous. sweating. back arching. belly stretching. toes curling. heart beating fast.

america's drug of choice ∆ invisible weapon