Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tenth Grade Hormones (For My Tenth Grade P.E. Class) (2003)

I hate everything about our gym
I hate the way our clothes smell like deodorant
on top of unwashed shorts on top of perfume
I hate the way we dress so quickly and hide
our alleged litany of flaws:
stretch marks,
skinny legs,
fat legs,
big booties,
and non-existent boobs
I hate the quick-change routine; slip your PE shirt over you regular shirt,
the slip your street shirt
(through the head so nobody can look at you)
It isn’t until years later when I see white women
walking bare breasted and in the 24 hours fitness locker room
plopping freshly showered butts on benches
where everyone has to sit that I realize a truth;
I can appreciate how naively beautiful and tragic modesty is.

Today we take the president’s physical fitness test
we flunk the pull up test
cheat on the mile run
There are exceptions
There is the track star that looks
like she’s actually enjoying running
around the track eight times
The rest of us run at a tolerable pace,
slow down, then run again
Our outfits defy ugliness; they are an abomination
The only thing that may save them
from eternal damnation is
that they are on young,
healthy bodies

The boys endure the humiliation of wearing green nutters

They have to complete a five-minute run, not a twelve-minute one
We never did figure out why

After we’ve finished
everyone stands out on the little stoop
directly in front of the girls gym
moving and swaying semi developed bodies to R. Kelly
Before CD burners,
R. Kelly had a hit slow jam,
and somebody had a boom box and a tape,
We shook our booties
had no idea that our bodies had become red flags
explosive in this innocent moments
We listen to the seductive base
and the swaying melody
clapping our hands and talking
about what we are going to wear to the first dance of the year

The coolest girls are not
the smartest
or the nicest,
or even the prettiest,
but they are bold,
and uniform.

Brothas from corny to the Casanova-ish alike pursue the chase,
longing to for opportunity in girl woman form and
sweet as a now or later kisses
“Now that you’ve come around to seeing it my way,
you won’t regret it baby, and you sho’lly won’t forget it baby
Its unbelievable how your body’s calling for me

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