I hand a quarter to the cafeteria lady
for a pickle on Popcorn Friday.
Its wax wrapper crinkles in my right hand
before I sink my teeth into the oversized
snack and suck the juice from it.
I don’t kiss a boy while inside the tunnel
on the playground OLE because Mom says
kissing boys leads to making babies, but, instead,
I let him place his hand inside my shorts. His smile
makes me think of Elvis, so I don’t care
if his hands are dirty or if other kids find us
and tell the teachers.
I sit on top
of the monkey bars afterward,
telling friends we had what he calls passionate
sex because he knows he wants me
to have his baby one day. As girlfriends hang
upside down, giggling and asking questions, I can’t think
about anything but how warm the metal bar feels
as I straddle it, tighten my thighs.
This is when I realize I won’t need
a man to do it. I don’ t need a man
to do any of it.