I barely catch a sweat in my
baggy, school-issued gym clothes,
as we all run around the glossy court
afraid of foam balls—squealing,
narrowly dodging embarrassment.
Afterward, in the locker room,
K and C laugh at my mosquito bites.
I steal glances at their filled-out sports bras,
as they tell me about the boys they love,
the ones that look at them like meat,
and don’t see at me at all.
I took care of my auntie’s parade roses.
“Water carefully every 2-3 days,”
I watched with glee
as buds developed,
expanding into full blooms.
As each blossomed,
one stubborn babe held tight —
days past her sisters’ openings.
It took so much energy to resist prying her open with my fingers,
or taking the bud in one hand
and crushing it.