I grew up in a city in a neighbourhood full of flimsy
meatloaf fat. That greyish catfood goo that just bobbles
off the old meatloaf brick. The summer months bubbled
and stained newsprint brown. In their respective boxes
the newsprint would cook and burn the hands of its readers.
Sometimes, everything smelled like that, or the complete
opposite, which at my age was bright grape pop. I grew
up in a city in a neighbourhood full of chipped teeth
and skinned knees and this is where I learned to proof
read spit in my mouth or to lubricate scrapes, the dirt,
blood and torn tissue with the spit of others.
The boys in public school sharpened their dicks in
the sun at recess against pop can tabs, bent with crooked
teeth and split lips. They all huddled for perverse
measure. They compared the size of the dicks in the
sun, or pissed together on Saturdays against the brick-red
school walls. Or from the rooftops until the custodians
came. They were up there getting tennis balls from the
previous week's recesses. They all huddled for perverse
measure. For years and years. Wind through our hair,
freckles darned in sun. Through fads of BMX bikes,
skateboards, mountain bikes; hair worn to reflect TV
pin-ups. Highlights. Then the clothing, tapered pants,
stone-washed jeans, shirts with tiny horses over one
nipple, elastic waist boxers covered their dicks which
they sharpened all through childhood in order to one
day stab girls for sex.
Stabbing is another word for intercourse. It's the
sound their tiny dungeon and dragon cast iron knights
make against basement stomachs. That cold place. Or
it's the sound the sheers beat down despite rust against
overgrown hedges. In the alleys the bits of green hit
the concrete from neighbouring backyards. The boys knew
what stabbing looked like because of the dirty books
they found in garbage bags full of hair behind the barbershop.
The alley held them all tight. In the bag the magazines
tanned, as if to further perfect the centrefold. To
dissolve any tan-lines. Tanning in the afternoon taught
us all how to make ourselves come and shake. This is
what we liked. We grew to like it, it was the cure for
countless go nowhere knees scrapes and puppeteering toy
We were all alone; to be future boys who only cared
about naked girls "crawling all over us" meant to be
loyal. And to meet to discuss how. It meant sometimes
we'd watch a stolen porno and a girl would be there
and one boy who I knew from recess and soccer and sharpening
sessions would sit next to her and we'd just stare.
And when we drank from the fountain it cooled our tongues
that were yet not poisoned by foul play. We were all
skeletons of virginity; we all had this perfect bone
inside us that God put on us like a ribbon at a fair.
Then the mud came and our mother's washed the ribbons
and when it came out of the wash it wasn't the same.