lisa & ginny

             same                apartment building dry grass homeroom

             lisa                    pioneer country mouse string bean knobby knees

             ginny                 urban jungle ice cubes glamorous flirty handwriting i’s heart dotted

             stolen cigarettes
             bathroom smoking
             nausea coughing lying

             ginny                 dad gone
                                        mom dating truckers
                                                     tube tops nipples tattoos freckles
                                                     crooked teeth fingers stained
                                                     offer lisa beer pull it away
                                                     peed pants in trans am
                                                     bud cig in hand
                                                     kids afraid

             lisa                 could leave

             gin                 had to stay

ginny’s brother

fine white blond hair
lisa’s crush
ginny’s mom teasing
              sending lisa to the store with him
              i know you want to
stayed in room t-shirt arms cut off blasting metal
night lisa awake
gin’s brother in covers mound
what if lisa kissed him her
sunk to floor fear
              morning laughing
              fell out of bed

stealing sprees

metallic model nameplates off cars
allowances plastic model horses
competed most cutest never played just displayed
plain white plaster horse Santa Monica Pier
milk Dad for money weekend visit
city bus driver big blond mustache
ski-ball bumper cars junk food popcorn
old men fishing

line cast too far hooked Dad’s cheek
carefully work it out afraid tear huge skin hole
crowd formed wearing shades
everything spinning slow motion
waited giant man-bodies
puke up corn-dog
Dad emerged acted like no big deal totally freaked out don’t want you to know
two tiny holes left cheek filled with blood took napkin away
didn’t know what to say nausea fear lingered without voice

plaster figurines tacky clowns jesus reliefs bunny rabbits
chalk dust hanging in air touching white stains
teacher forgot leaned butt against blackboard
walked horse aisle wait till one caught eye kept it
all wanted to go home join collection on top of orange desk
always important to choose right one
full grown thoroughbred plaster grass one leg raised mid-trot neighed loudest
took home cradling fear of dropping
break into a million powdery pieces
spent full eight hours next day painting meticulously
brown body black main tail hoofs white star forehead Black Beauty bright green grass
lisa could never beat that no matter what


auto sales lots
sneaking in and out among cars avoid salesmen
more challenging than back alley car port robberies
more concealed, dangerous
armed with backpack screwdrivers prying
slip out of apartments meet laundry room out back alley
strict logistical strategies memorized before departure
stand around like we were waiting for a ride checkin’ out cars
watching ready specially designated signal loud cough cat’s meow

Run like hell!

meet inside Aaron Scott Furniture Rustic Bedroom Set display room
dibs on every last object ashtray fireplace poker
fake rooms reminded me of my Grandmother’s house
nobody ever told us to leave or to get off the merchandise
they knew we were fugitives
better not mess with us
armed and dangerous ready to defend our booty
trillionaires if they questioned our presence they’d lose out on the sale of a lifetime
gave up life of crime
three pillowcases full of car model emblems
nothing to do but sort and polish them
couldn’t exactly say

Hey Mom, look what I stole!

buried under the pathetic expanse of dead grass surrounding apartment building
then we moved to the Valley
townhomes are so much more bitchin’ than apartments
dishwasher pool-table cable tv


stole cigarettes from mom
hid in bathroom
matches from Bob’s Liquor walk home from school
knew my mom would miss Bic lighter
used to throw tantrum every time she lost it
order us to help her look tear couch apart find it
that’s where she spent most of her time
lit each other’s
watched in medicine cabinet mirror
tried to look natural like movies
like moms looked
leaned heads back luxuriously with each exhale struck glamorous poses
“You’ve come a long way, Baby” billboard
decided we looked at least as cool as the big kids at the back fence
could hold between pointer finger and middle finger
could blow smoke up in slow smooth stream
lisa coughing
I had drags of my mom’s before so it was almost no problem
faucet loud while lisa sputtered I confessed to slight nausea
lied and said I liked the taste okay
lisa did the same always trying too hard to be cool really biggest geek ever
stayed a long time so smell would go away
my mom knew anyway
didn’t care watching ‘Price is Right’