It starts with a shared grin at the barre
And the dance teacher telling us to pair up
Class full of rich chicks, and a couple guys in it to score,
And two girls wearing ratty old gym clothes
Kind of like a badge of honor,
Isn’t a surprise, that we pair together.
Later, fate conspires against us,
And your cousin is in my bio class
--you know, the one where the teacher
Was baked the entire semester.
And my sister’s in a class
With your cousin’s girlfriend.
We kind of pussyfoot around it—
Fourteen, and the balls of steel
And confidence haven’t quite arrived—
But we make out, once, quick and messy,
And messier, when my parents walk in.
By sixteen, I’ve dated your brother,
My sister’s close to dropping out,
I’m pouring myself into my studies,
You’re getting high with my brother,
And just when nothing can get weirder…
You ask for my permission,
Because you think you’ve met the one.
She’s pretty enough, and tough enough to handle me, maybe,
But she’ll break with prolonged contact
But I just nod and smile,
And whisper, “Have fun”
And it means:
(Don’t do anything I wouldn’t,
And don’t make me patch you up later,
Even though you know I will.)
And when I get the call,
a couple thousand miles away,
I gag on an I told you so.
We tangle a couple more times,
Chains of bruises over both torsos,
My turtleneck collection grows,
And my parents,
My parents ban you forever,
After we barely avoid them walking in…
Big sister just laughs,
And your cousin tells me, “Don’t get hurt”
She'll bruise you,
But I’m the one who leaves,
And you’re the one who stays,
And maybe there’s a world of pain,
But it’s tangled in a net a couple years old.
So when’s the baby due anyway?