by Amy Soricelli
Somewhere she would find me a bargain basement bathing suit in yellow loud screaming shiny –
a cap to match/my brother simple blue trunks;
we’d pack our Bronx bullshit into one suitcase then a bus.
She didn't have a lot of boyfriends but I knew she wanted them like cigarette smoking movie stars in bars with their pointy bras/pouty lips –
the olives twirling around their fingers like dice.
My mother drank like them with her ankles crossed just like that –Smoked too.
Salem cigarette smoke like a genie dancing around my head in utero.
Didn't matter then, no one knew.
She was smarter than they were so they never took her home.
Not pretty enough to climb over the IQ test she tossed at them in the high balcony of the Loew’s Paradise on Fordham Road.
They scrambled for the last drops of perfume hidden with her pin money.
She took us to Bradley Beach long after my father got kicked to the curb his suitcase dangling from his open mouth –
bees buzzing around his head like guilt.
We stayed in a room that was all bed – next door her friend with the drawn on beauty mark by her lip – her high hair waving in the wind stuck to her side;
settling her sad child into the flat carpet squares knee deep in broken dolls with lipstick across their faces.
I clung to her like the sand was glass/the sand dunes the last lonely place to climb over.
Hearts like hollow echoes lifeguards white noses -lose me in the ocean I would think
Return me tangled in odd sea weed let me die on the shore a skinny mermaid all arms and legs.
Lost in the ocean forever like the rope that holds the moon down- lose me in the space between the broken glitters of sand.
She bought me a pail and shovel and sat me by her feet to dig away the ground up hate.
I looked up at her while she smoked /drank with her high haired friend on the hot sandy
glassy broken beach.
The sun and waves crushing me slowly with a million lonely fingers.