I've been there: 1989. Puffed on Newports and snuck sips
off a stolen bottle of Jim beam. Let myself be kissed too,
by a boy with indigo eyes and braces, in a dark closet
filled with the smell of rarely worn coats and old gym shoes.
Seventh grade was like an episode of Days of Our Lives
girls as manipulative as any soap star
diva whose sole job was to seal someone's husband. Tears fell
readily as laughter bursting out our noses at lunch in a spray of chocolate
white milk, fresh in my mind today as I walk among the braced and acne-marked youth of this middle school. Looking at you I know your biggest concerns should
be the medals you'll win for track, the book report due tomorrow, or who's taking
who to the dance this Friday. I myself with twenty friends turned my parents'
upstairs bathroom into something smelling like a French brothel,
Aqua net hair spray making high heels stick to the linoleum floor,
orange lipstick plastered on never-been kissed lips,
blue eye shadow caked on unlined and unwrinkled lids,
only to be smeared away in a wash of tears when Bobby Turner
doesn't ask you to dance, or one of your friends' prudish
mom comes to the aid of your innocent lids and virgin
lips with a wet washcloth erasing two hours of hard work.
In the cafeteria, looking at all your lip glossed faces your thoughts hidden behind Wet n' Wild eyeliner, I know what you could be feeling.
I've been there: 1989. In that tiny upstairs bathroom, smelling of Ex*claimation!
and in that stuffy closed-in closet; eyes of indigo glittering off silver buttons.