December 1998 / Volume One / Issue Three
Vladimir Swirynsky
Tomboy- Tomcat

As we talk--
I dwell on the perfection of your soul
Dumb struck that the square root of lust are those
legs that convincingly support your calico skirt
You are apple blossom, a profusion of prime numbers,
every impulse, every breath of the word unreasonable
Chit chatting about your childhood

At six you stabbed a boy with scissors
Next year there was a rash of black eyes
The unlucky ones forced to taste earthworms
From head to toe you were contradiction-- a Devil Fish
who bullied kids into sneaking cigarette butts
out of their houses
Drena your best friend yaught you how to kiss
How to tease boys--
Your breasts jumping thru hoops of flame
All they could do--
was savor the disdain of your beauty

A scrappy little hellion, a double dutch junky
with raspberry lips and cotton candy hair
For you oppression meant sharing your
bed with two younger brothers
I don't want these hand-me-downs
that made you feel like a contortionist
Wearing grandma's gold brooch-- a five legged spider

At sixteen you wait downstairs, half buried in your
innocence-- a dollar to a donut that Drena
has unraveled the last mystery

She is now a mannequin, plastic eyes painted sunset
A pillar of wisdom, a tiny voice
who spits out--
it didn't hurt that bad
That very moment--
You wanted her to explain the emptiness you felt
Without ceremony, the two of you embrace
each other the hardships of womanhood
To wonder--
           Why is the heart so vulnerable?
           Why love has no return address?

Months, days, years later-- at a traffic light I spot
a little girl, (broken glass dreams and all)
gracefully stick her tongue out
Letting all the boys know she could kick ass--
was more woman than they could ever handle

The light changed to green
Sugar Pie, I wanted to give you a hug
But if I had they would've arrested me
Interrogated my foolish ass--
but not my heart
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