Oneil (2)


boy or girl

Once I wished I had been born a boy.
I’m lying.
I wished it time-over…
Tomboy’s pigtails surfing the wind,
chasing a posse of boys
sporting scab-medals on ankles, knees and shins.
We kissed tree bark instead of pubescent lips,
curled gangly limbs around the waists of trees
and clutched their tough fingers in our calloused palms.
That first dance a trillion years away.

Smelled like little animals–youth’s perfume.
We wrestled beneath an artist’s sky–boldly blued
and struck with Rubenesque clouds in virgin white.
Arms over legs and melded in sweat,
Heart to heart, pulse for pulse,
fingers risking a tighter hold.
We rocked the grass deep, deeper into moist, warm loam.
Panting, holding, pulling, pushing–then spent.
In a climactic draw, we fell apart spread-eagle
(brows bejeweled under an electric sun)
sucking up slices of wind that caught our laughter
and skipped it through a thousand light spaces,
and across roiling hills of long-haired fields.
“King of the Hill.”

But Mother’s call cracked the wind like fireworks.
And pigtails snapped like whips behind the tomboy
who leapt in ballerina fashion through the grass
wearing new medals proudly earned that day:
dark loam under fingernails and permanent green
in her perma-pressed jeans.
Once I wished I had been born a boy.