House of Words nude girls wooden menu frame

The Girls next door

(aka, "Dancing Girls!")

I was seven.
My brother was five.
We were bored,
hands in pockets.

Then the girls next door
started dancing nude for us.

From their second story room
they squirmed and kinked with attitude
jerky trapezoids
with hairdos and shoes.
And nothing in between.

Rita was the genius. Wendy followed.

They squatted, dropped coins into pots
and made OO La La expressions: Oh my!
pressing their hands to their faces.

Between their legs were ...
impossible miracles:

Little pink boats,
forged and finished in rubber.
Not the leftover flange we had.

Portals to the mind.
And the apparent source of nickels.

We stared up from the hedge,
Leg-and-boat crazy.

Next day Rita came to us
in the tool room,
through the above-ground window.
She taught us things, down there.

She was our vision,
our nurse,
and our mother.

Tomorrow I'll get Wendy to come.
(Yes, definitely,
let's bring Wendy on board!)

We swaggered to the tool room.
The world's greatest tag team.
The roar of the crowd.
The smell of damp cement.

I lowered my shorts to show him
what real audacity looked like.

It was a brief setback for him,
having not yet been visited by
The Holy Spirit of Wood.
His face soon regained
its previous arrogance anyway.

It was our boner.

Rita's waxy legs slid through
the grassy window, then Wendy's.

Wendy's eyes were so full of hope.
Then she looked down at me.
And screamed.

Parents called parents.
We got a brisk sermon about
god's sexual insecurities.

We saw the girls one more time.
They were morose, like the end
of Splendor in the Grass.

Not even Rita could expel
the knowledge of good and evil.

We put our hands
back in our pockets,
and exhaled.

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