Saturday 24 June 2023

'Birds and Bees Stuff' by Tom Weller

“The school called, bout you and Jimmy in the back of the band bus” Third Mom says, the porch groaning under her steps. She puts a damp can of Coke in my hand, pulls a lawn chair next mine. “We need to have a talk your real mom should have had with you, birds and bees stuff,” her voice another hand, groping for connection.

Third Mom stumbles through love and danger and disease, urination that burns and babies that burden, pull a girl under sure as an anchor. Her hands herk and jerk the whole time, opening and closing like she’s trying to strangle ghosts. I lean back in my lawn, hold the cool of the Coke can against my heart and think of sprouting bird wings, of flying away, think of the sting I already carry with me, capable of stilling some men’s hearts.

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