• Marian Glaser

James

By Marian Glaser, © June, 1997


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By the time James was seventeen his body was grown.

His muscles bulged.

His beard sprouted,

his hormones surged.

He stared at the mirror each day, wondering

if his pimply face would ever

settle down into handsomeness.

He doubted it

in spite of his parents’ feeble attempts at

reassurance.

Would the day ever come when he could kiss his mother

without guilt about stained sheets or

forgotten condoms floating from his jean’s pockets?

She’d said she preferred handling

his marbles, plants, rocks and worms.

His voice no longer yelled obscenities at the other team from second base

but crooned as he phoned his girl,

knowing she would be as eager to take the steps leading

to sex as he.

They both wished for more comfort

than his father’s backseat gave

their twisting bodies

but ignored that as their sensations blotted

out warnings about diseases and pregnancy

Money was both a temptation and a threat.

Earning it would limit his freedom but

free him from his parents’ silly rules.

He would no longer need to ask

to use the car. They could have one

and a bed of their own.

If he wanted it for other girls it would be easier to keep her from knowing.

His hormones often left him no room for other thoughts than sex.

It was such fun. He couldn’t understand his father’s delight

in his sister’s daughter, flowers, plants, birds and insects.

Maybe they were different species.

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