poem index

In the Girls' Room

Wendy Mnookin
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.

Wendy Mnookin