Sometimes you look at me
as though i’ve never kissed a girl before.
I cannot tell if it is pity or love
which causes you to fret over my virgin lips.
You whisper to me simple verses
from Susan Sings Songs from Sesame Street
each and every afternoon;
sometimes it makes me weep.
I cry, too, when your rough fingers scratch my cheeks.
It stings, but I don’t mind. I never have
and I likely never will.
My mouth is still stained with bright colors
from too many crying hours
spent pressed against the wallpaper
your Aunt Caroline brought us back from her trip to Dubai.
Later that afternoon we both ate moldy plums.
It is not a sad memory.
You apologize for the scrapes and bruises
inflicted by unfamiliar fists, and I tell you to quiet down.
At times like this, your voice reminds me of the shouts from little children
made from sweet-grasses and dewdrops.
I am ignorant and you are blissful,
but we are both rotten on the inside.
Like the moldy plums, we are soft to the touch.
If you press too hard, you’ll break skin and grope our