O, Susanna Twelve and my breasts begin their slow swell, moon-bright in the seventh month of my slumber. This strange sheen, as within the begonia’s waxy heart, my neck a spreading alpenglow when, in front of the boy from Glasgow County, Norah Clond snaps my training bra. Small discs of turquoise hang from my ears like fingerprints, the shape pressed into my chest like Ms. Smoots taught us to find lumps grain-thick in the paddy of some temerarious fright, that dim scepter, womanhood . Mornings she brushes the tops of strawberry plants with her palms to find the dark pebbles of fruit. After P.E. girls fold their bodies as a mantis its pious limbs into clothes that exhale what perfume our mothers allow. And O for shame the day she finds them, unmistakable knots, gristle, seedlings in her left breast. Mother cannot take me; Father runs the truck
Flying Island is the Online Literary Journal of the Indiana Writers Center, accepting submissions from Midwest residents and those with significant ties to the Midwest.