what didn’t cousin leslie know and when didn’t she know it?

sucking on her cig
in an early 60’s english-lit-meets Connie Francis
cha-cha fashion, my cousin leslie, the first teen
legit in the family, she even

brought over a BOYFRIEND!,
skinny, had frankie avalon
hair but worse he wore a creepy
tie ANYhow, i think he looked at me
funny when i crawled under my
blankies with my AMAZING beatles puppets,

(well ok acceptable if not borderline
behavior for a 8-yr-old and maybe
we’ll figure this out some other time) but

for now/then, cousin leslie cooly tossed
a bobby rydell 45 on the phono and
I SWEAR TO YOU this: she then exhaled
her ultra-urbane smoke rings curly curly to
the ceiling, accompanied by some kinda
VERY clippety-cloppety words: “oh the
beatles? definitely a fad, i giveth 2
years, tops” soooooo,
wow ok so? then i clamped my hand
over my mouth, they were starting to

notice snarky giggles of not merely
boy-nephew but maybe boy-way scarier?, that,
this lil’ me might multiply into
a LOT of beach-blanket-bingo fugitives-
to-be and oh!!
and in such big big big numbers
did we ever grow to be.


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