The Coat Room

At ten I tongue ambrosia salad on Tilly’s lips;
At twelve I suck
icing off her fingertips.
We escape too late
to a cozy party-going
coats cave.
I hear her mother and mine
laughing like they’re too young for husbands.

Tilly and I won’t giggle like our mothers;
Instead we smirk
at petals peeled back
and rubbed rosy
like criminals at loot.
She wiggles so close,
her breath wet in my ear,
our hair a brown tangle not allowing us to hear

my Mama yelling at our turned up hoop skirts;
Pink and yellow tulle traps us
like mosquito netting.
One shoe gone;
Laces loose on three feet.
Socks a shock—
white ruffles turned down like bed sheets.

Tilly squeezes my ripened hand,
and bites to drink juice.
Mama calls to God,
and Papa peeks at
his daughter writhing
between Tilly and the quiet coats.

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