Monday, September 7, 2009

Clammy Hands and Homemade Looks

Clammy hands and quiet looks at girls
sweaty ass crack on a split plastic seat.
I shift in my seat, back sliding down then up, awkward in my cramped chair.

Shorts too short
the price you pay for homemade looks
shorts too short,
Daisy Dukes, says a friend.
Bad enough that here I am, young man spinning clay
into forms bestial and ugly, one of only three guys
in a class run by a hippie in new-aged rags,
dark purples and rainbow sparkles shifting and swaying
with every move of her hips or hands.

My stomach turns and I feel pale pink puke
spattering my throat like magma splashing the rim of a caldera,
and all I recall is the feeling of fear:
of being being called out,
being singled out as someone other than them.
Daisy Dukes, they would say over and over, not all at once, but still
from time to time, Daisy Dukes-Daisy Dukes-Daisy Dukes.
The General Lee was parked out front at my high school
so how was I supposed to feel?

We grow out of this, so some say, we grow older,
but memory yet keeps the past alive
as embers snug in cow dung,
carried from camp to camp.

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