I remember a girl, whispering
with menses, her breasts swelling
under a sweater.† She had just moved
upstairs from the childrenís room.
The bindings were like rows
of bones to her.† She didnít know yet
that she would suffer, or smoke
cigarettes forever, or that boys
would use her.† Only the books
mattered, as they would always
matter.† She sat at a table
for hours, cradling them,†then
donned her pink poncho,
headed down the steps into
*Note: This poem originally appeared in The Candlelight Poetry Journal (print).