Last Night of Twelfth Grade

The moon is a wave over everything.
I watch the grass
like every ripple
is a small fish climbing
toward me. I’m so scared
I can only hear
grasshoppers.
Then a kickstand
drops.

And I’m alone
with Alice.

I fall onto her body, worried
maybe the moon will tell
someone and we’ll get in trouble.

Then she pushes and
our thighs twist
and lock. She holds her finger
to my mouth, pushes
my shoulders
into the dirt. And the moon watching
behind her, Alice looks
right into me.

She winks
and reaches for my penis
and I can’t move.
She asks with her eyes
and her mouth, just
open, and I nod
so she pushes
her underwear to the dirt
and pushes
her vagina onto me and
I remember how to move.

Alice shouts so loud
I’m sure flashlights would shout
at us, too, but this
is our moment
so I shout, too,
and push
up
into her until I can’t stop
shouting. And we both laugh
at our secret and keep shouting
and then…

I lean on the cement
by the water.
Alice brushes the sand off us and pulls
a joint from her pants pocket.
She nests her head
on my chest.

The moon seems to mock
me, laying here, until finally I screw
up my courage: You know
I think I’ve been in love with you—

You’re in love with me?
She kisses my forehead
lightly and smirks.

Let me finish.
Since that time you put Brock
Livingston in his place.
On the bus, you know… in fourth grade.

Jesus. She laughs and looks
me in the eye. What did I do?

You know… you told this older boy…
I prop myself on my elbows.
I don’t remember exactly.
It was something
about his mother.
You were so brave, Alice.
Especially
for a fourth-grader.

She looks off, all the way
to the train tracks.

You knew when we were nine?
Why didn’t you say something?

You’re my sister’s b—

She shifts her body to put her finger
on my mouth.

And I was scared.

We both pause for a long moment.

That’s not it. I fell for you
first in fourth grade, but I keep falling
for you. It’s like you’re so unimpressed
with all the scariest things
in the world. Teachers, audiences…
singing.

Oh, hush. I get plenty scared. I bet
what scares me just isn’t what scares you.

Oh yeah?

Yeah. She traces her finger
under my jaw. You’re waking
up somewhere, some-when, in a body
you don’t even recognize,
and somehow you make a hideaway
for us at the Reservoir. You go to school.
You hang out with your friends.
Somehow no one even notices.

Alice stares off. For me, it was that night
at the pizza parlor. After Brock left
and you told me about your… condition,
I felt like I saw you
for the first time.
And you’re beautiful.

I blush. I kiss her
full bloom on her mouth.
Roll toward the horizon.

Hey, you know what’s crazy?
We graduate from high school
in nine hours.

Alice pulls her hips
into mine.

Let’s make them count.

Added: February 3, 2013 | Last changed: January 23, 2015