Back in the Day
BY JAMAICA BALDWIN
We weren’t a murder or flock, but a defense of girls bracing for impact. She think she all that don’t she with her high-yella ass! Iron gossip gutted into musculature. The older girls carried knives and drew their eyebrows into thin dark arcs of war. The telephone booth at Taco Bell we frequented. The useless torn wings we licked and hung our heads when Five-O rolled by prowling for truants: older boys carried from group home to juvey to our arms. Our worries eclipsed by a replay of kisses. The pollination of lips. The waiting: He said he’d call at 2. Give him 10 minutes. 10 minutes more. In the observatory of mistakes, we chipped our teeth on stars trying to consume the night, scissored our bodies into rations we lured the boys with— the ones we called ours. Walking to 7-11, his cheekbones glinting in cigarette light. Fallen. Got my nose wide open. My lonesome soothed if only for the moment.