Sweet Sixteen Circa 1948
A barest hint of spring in the air,
riding home in a lurching school bus with
Mickey Barbero, a classmate in art.
Once caught my name writ large in
calligraphy in a sketchpad she carried around.
She had long flowing hair,
eyes as black as bituminous coal
and the fragrance of Freesia from LaJolla.
With the sun shining in from the back of the bus
her zirconium earrings were blinding my eyes
as she claimed it wouldn't hurt a bit
if I allowed her to make a mold of my face.
Lying flat on my back with straws up my nose
she straddled my body like a black widow spider.
Helplessly swaddled like a new born babe
I devoured her scent like a celibate monk
as I claustrophobically waited for the plaster to dry,
patiently hoping the cast was perfect
in order to earn the promised reward:
A tango lesson before her parents came home.