Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

We could have burned the house down

A pop can blasted with BB shots catches the sun
and I’m back at the Glen Rock dump
with you and our Daisy rifles, dungarees
and Army canteens.
I carried mine on a camouflage belt,
Swigged from it like a thirsty soldier.
We used to walk the railroad tracks
with hobo sacks and Wonder Bread
People would mistake us for boys
when we’d hide our long, blonde hair
under baseball caps, or sisters
when we’d let it down.
You were nothing like a boy
or sister to me.
When you passed me a note in third grade—
Can you come to my house after school?
I felt that climbing-the-monkey-bars tingle
between my legs.
Your eyes were those marbles
girls would boil and hang on a chain—
all crackly and ravishing.
You let me in on the secrets of sex—
told me that women covered themselves
in rubber down there, that homos
took baths together.
We did that too—Did that make us homos?
I wondered as I blew Crazyfoam
through a washcloth and slathered
it on your head.
I wanted to make Creepy Crawlers with you,
but my mother bought me Fun Flowers instead.
We forgot them in their little oven
when we went outside to build a fort.
You could have burned the house down,
my mother yelled. She must have smelled
the smoke.
Margaret DMargaret DeRitter is a freelance writer and editor living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her dog, Murray. She worked as a full-time journalist for 30 years. Her poetry has appeared in Scarlet Literary Magazine and Encore Magazine.

Categories: LGBTQ+, Poetry, Themed

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Excellent snapshots of some coming of age moments…Creepy Crawlers! What a flashback. As I recall, we ate them and they tasted generally bad.

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