I used to
leave class
in high school,
go to the bathroom stall
and masturbate whenever
I let dirty thoughts
build too long.
usually it wasn’t
the subject of the class
but the way a boy
brushed my sleeve
on the way to pick up
the beakers.

I used to ask men
to reach under blankets
at house parties
and touch me.
my shorts not so
tight they couldn’t
be pushed to one side.
I used to pay their
way in when there
was a cover,
crawl up
their stomachs,
my mouth smelling
of Bud Light and
cigarettes and smiling
bright asking them
if they were still seeing
Mariel and if they wanted
to reach under the

I always had a spare
five dollars on hand,
at least three cigarettes
and a way to materialize
fire, a way to morph
into lap cat
for whomever I
craved.  my name
is a whispered name.
a baleful sweep
of syllable in halls.

“the rooms”

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