In the Girls' Room
I saw them making out, Sheila whispers from the stall next to mine. We're standing, hidden from each other on opposite sides of the same cold wall. I imagine her brother's hand surprising itself inside some girl's sweater, small hairs jittery along the map of her neck. Her eyes were shut. I open mine wide, lean closer. She was making small noises, like a bird. I form my mouth into an 0, press my lips against the door. He was licking her ear. The bow of my breath lingers, then disappears, I hate the ordinary boredom of my life, my cotton underpants, the sharp question of each hipbone. Hey, she says, knocking on the wall. I play with the lock, spitting its silver tongue into the waiting mouth of the door. What's your secret?
Reprinted from What He Took by Wendy Mnookin, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2002 by Wendy Mnookin. All rights reserved.