The young girl felt like a swing attached to tiny straps
that u-turned over her shoulders. She didn’t have a waist,
but she knew she had the makings of one, her hipbones
small omens. Grape was her favorite Fla-vor-ice, and
when she pressed the jagged plastic edge against her lip
it dripped across her chin and into the violets on her dress,
staining the fabric like a bruise. When she smiled
her teeth were a calendar of plums, incomprehensible.
Everyday, the young girl looked up into the pornography
of clouds and wished to be a new girl. She didn’t know
why the neighborhood boys leered at her, but she had a hunch
that it had to do with the future. She looked away from
the overture of eyes, practiced being the girl she would like
to be, dragged the translucent flowers and gauzy white cloth
with her, through the grass, in pursuit of crickets, her clavicle
a compass. Her hair was a tangle of insurrection; her hands
unfolded in front of her like they were each their own animal.
There was her and the dress that held her, her and the dress
that hid her. There was the wide world and this pretty
semi-transparent cotton, among other things, between her nerves
and the gnarly nest of growth. The hem divided her at the knees,
bobbed in and out as if sewing her to sunlight, the whole
yard fastened with lemon thread.