Summer 2008, #15
       "Convenient Acts of Human Behavior"

Summer Soldiers

     by Melissa Broder

This was the game: we would gaze down the barrel
of our lipsticks, waiting for you to finish

band practice. Stalk you in the 7-11 lot.
Where the boys were. Boys. Sparrow spirits on skateboards,

bottles of Tahitian Treat, Rose's Cola,
and blue raspberry Slurpees laced with liquor.

I had the blues 'cause I wanted to be you:
all shit-beers and stars, pentagrams instead of Temple.

Old-school kick flips—no purses—under the low-hung moon,
and you could skin your knees and you could give me

carpet burn all evening in somebody's basement,
trying to lick my nothing-tit, a baby lion

cleaning a china plate. Calluses and nipples,
bass guitars. Cinnamon gum will turn him on,

said the wise women of Seventeen magazine.
What kind of kisser are you? Timid? Sexy? Strong?

Once I opened my eyes and he only had one eye.
He kept his mouth sealed shut. Is there something wrong?

Then you'd heel-flip your Simples, ollie higher
over gutters, down suburb sidewalks, to your mothers

and we'd go tongue the mirror in your honor,
apply silver eyeliner, make scars out of pimples.