In those days, I knew nothing at all, yet
inhabited my body fully, the sweetness of life
gobbled like candy, licorice whips, wax lips
we wore to imitate full-blooded women.
Necco wafers were our simple religion, a
chalked hopscotch trail our initiation rite.
What I remember most of those lush summers
is the eternal uncurling of weeks, the rolls
of red caps, strips of tiny detonations made for
boys' toy guns, hammered on concrete, one pock
by one, the tightly locked bubbles releasing
a girl-thrilling scent of gunpowder and danger.
Squatting, bare kneed, we bang, bang, banged
a message to the manmade world: I am here,
making noise and stink, a girl with a man's hammer,
unwrapping the rules that wrap the world too tight.
The Christmas she was eight, Greta Bolger (firstname.lastname@example.org) received both a baby buggy and two six guns in a holster from Santa. Her androgyny has its roots in such wanton acts of gift-giving.