Poet & Thief

Chlorine Cl, 17

1977
One piece bathing suit
made of heavy double knit
with a modesty skirt that clings to my thighs
and darts for chests
girls at my school don’t seem to have
each size a different color
baby blue for size 4
then red, navy, pink, Kelly green, magenta &
orange for size 16
The boys are lined up against the tile wall
as we are escorted past, to the deep end.
A sad anthropological study gone wrong.
We are not exotic birds, we have no colorful plumes
Just hormones and oil spills
bloody nicks on our legs
hair that refuses to feather.
I am a girl who shows no signs
of maturing, my body, like my hair
is straight lines. No curves, no turns
no place to get lost.

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