take a moment….
by Becca Klaver
I win Most Original Style, but I get it all from you.
The shock, the prank, the glamour.
The British spelling, the American, our own secret.
A freak & I learn how to use it.
How else would you know me in a square of blonde?
Four heads bobbing & bleaching.
I pick the box reads Wild Fire.
Rinse thoroughly, alternateen smirking
straight into the principal’s office.
He says wipe that lipstick off she says
is that underwear
or outerwear. She thinks she knows.
Later I’ll love
that word liminal. For now I ask to see the handbook.
in the highlighted phrase, or otherwise distracting.
It’s an offering,
a tagline. A freak & I learn how to use it.
They make me rub
with toilet paper & soap or wear my gym clothes.
I’ve already posed for the video yearbook.
My mom drops off
a cardigan. A lawyer, no time for frivolities.
She asks to see the handbook.
I learn how to promqueen, to pirate, to play
mermaid with just a smidge of
It isn’t costume, it’s myth. A way to bring inner to outer
& then go back in again.
Words do, too.
There were slanting avenues. Farwell, Melrose, Milwaukee.
If we went anywhere, there.
Mostly I just took what you gave me.
You gave me your makeup, your made-up words.
Your trailing vowels, your hand-me-downs.
I confess, I never liked shopping. Bad lights, hot brain,
stranger yap yap yap.
You gave me an excuse. A surplus of good good goods
in the local economy
called BFF, in the barter-or-bribe stall called Sisters.
I asked you
what you remembered & you told me. Shirts, shoes, scripts.
such great verbs. You told me—
Thakoon is the winner for me.