Like a frog out of the water,
like a big clumsy fly caught in a screen,
I entered womanhood
flailing my long legs.
Jumping Double Dutch in sneakered feet,
pounding a Morse Code of denial into the sidewalk,
so it echoed throughout the neighborhood:
not me, it said, not me,
I'll play with dolls forever,
I'll be a boy
if I want to,
I'll go off and play
by the railroad tracks.
Or spinning crazy like a top
in the grass of the backyard,
almost mowing mother's roses down with my arms,
then swooning beneath our peach tree
heavy with ripening fruit.
Dizzy it always made me dizzy,
and sleepy too, this newly tilting
pigeon thrumming inside me.
Thought I'd never want
a prince bending over me,
his face so much like a brother's
with its teasing wheedling eyes,
and mouth that kisses too hard.