by Erica Bodwell
She hated them: my brothers. She hated that they drank a gallon of milk a day, that their
voices cracked, that they lived beyond edge of the map, beyond her, the accustomed mother.
She hated their babyhoods, their uncircumcised penises that peed straight up, the way one
sucked his thumb and twisted his hair into tight knots, their open mouths like baby birds
They were the price she paid to get another girl, to keep the numbers on her team high, to
put tiny plastic barrettes in our hair, to sigh to her friends,
the girls are so easy.
Out of her reach, they punched each other on the way to the bathroom and got high in their
bedrooms. Their smoldering friends came up the tree and through the window and
she'd put on a show for them, flirting, touching their downy teenage forearms, saying oh
Kenny, oh Dean, and for those minutes she's at the Snowball Dance
and three of them move her around the waxy gym floor for the whole school to see.
Erica Bodwell is a poet from Concord, New Hampshire. She has poems forthcoming in
Red River Review, Crack the Spine and Emerge Literary Journal.