Beyond the Surface - 4/29/01
She said don't even try it and
her tone was like corn when
you rip the husk, the rich sound of
sawing it off the cob. Smoke rises from
the card game where her now, he
gonna-he was up all close
belongs, growing easy like something green over a game of
spades, laughter making the drinks and the fold-up table jiggle with like
this dude was trying to talk to me,
and she can be anywhere, so she's
coming home from school on the back
of the bus, more like her friends
than their uniforms show.
These same girls who always
smell like candy were in school
when I was there. The rhythm of speech
and feet and gum is effortless.
And when they cross the street
their breasts bounce safely in cups
that make tulips look empty,
and they grow, forcing satin and lace
against their white T-shirts.
And they become women who snap
what at one child while tying
another's shoe, fingers absentmindedly
rouge, pearled or pink among the strings.
And later, when she's please, I am not
the one, her daughter knows her body
because she is small on the floor
between her mother's legs, plastic parts
her scalp, a warm finger follows
the curve of her hair to oil her scalp.
And she listens to get to where
her mother is, to learn that voice.