summer camp

the younger girls giggle and write “gay” in marker down their arms.
when the sharpie letters start to fade, they draw pictures
of girls kissing girls on each other’s backs, use the term
“raging lesbian” to describe their barely pubescent bodies.

the older girls talk about touching themselves,
about how sometimes in summer a body is already
so slick it seems impossible not to, about the way they trim
their nails. about how it is hardest to keep your hands
off yourself. the younger girls listen with their mouths open.

anxiety in good company

i begin at the cuticle.
at first, skin clings –
grown comfortable
snug against muscle.

my fingers work hard.
with nails and knuckles
and eventually it begins
to loosen.

it peels back.
muscle meets air
breaths like a bottle
of wine.

it takes a long time.
the skin over joints
wrinkles like empty
sausage casings.

i get to the wrist.
tear the skin like
tape, but no sound.
i leave my hands
in my lap.

muscle-bare and wet
i start just below
the chin. the white
of the jaw bone
shines like eggshell.