by Jennifer Saunders
“ … Whatever
mistakes we make, we will become what we are
because of our blunders.”
Dorianne Laux “Zulu, Indiana (An Ode to the Internet)”
O stirrup pants, o acid-washed jeans, o single
black lace glove and rubber bracelets. Forgive me,
but you were mistakes, all of you,
you and the thigh-ripped-open jeans
I criss-crossed with skate laces. O big hair,
o green eye shadow, o hanging out on the beach
drinking ill-gotten Bartles & Jaymes and letting JP
of the fake ID unlace me and feed me
and slide his fingers inside me.
O dark parking lot, o end of the lane.
O you missteps, you well-practiced mistakes,
you paving of my crooked road. Fender-bender
in the McDonald’s parking lot
on the way home from Great America
because I was too impatient
to wipe the steam from the back window.
The ride I hitched with those guys
who turned out to be high
and on shore leave. O narrow escapes.
That haircut sophomore year.
That blue Prom dress. Jellies.
Not going to Homecoming with G
because nice guys scared me
more than JP and his Alabama Slammers.
O grapefruit diet, o Jane Fonda’s Workout, o beginning
of erasure. Daisy Dukes and ankle boots,
D+ in calculus, girl sitting in the back row
chewing her hair. O child, o paving stone,
o boat somebody else rowed. Off-the-shoulder
sweatshirts, “Let’s Get Physical,” o parachute pants—
the kind that were so easy to slip out of.