I brought a box of Crunch n Munch
to my mother’s hospital bedside,
like a match at a vigil,
like a knife to a gun fight.
I ate the whole box, and got
my first pimple the next day.


My mother did not live long
enough for me to tell her
about my first period. I
was nearly 13 and she
had been dead a year.
But once I’d pricked my finger
with a pin, and showed her
the faint smear of blood I wiped
on my underwear, so we had that.


My first kiss came years later
from a homely 25-year-old man
who later gave me a cheap name bracelet
for my 16th birthday.  He
was a deliberation, but she would
have known he was a sin.

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