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Hula Hoop Summer

mine is white
striped with bubble gum pink and I
watch the blue and green of Jillís
melting into teal as it spins.
I remember how I fought
for this hula hoop, believing
that it must be ultimately superior due to
its colors,
but now I envy the smooth ocean shades
of the one I shunned.
Jillís hips seem to know automatically
the exact motions which will keep the hoop
from slipping past her thighs, knees, ankles
and to the pavement.
my legs are skinny
my hips have not yet spread and I
do not understand the red
she smudges on her lips before she slips, ghostlike, behind
the curtains and out the window.
is sixteen
my seventh summer
or I am seven her sixteenth, but
in any case I feel like Mighty Mouse next to Superman,
imagining if I move closer these plastic rings will hook
together and she
will have to tell me her secrets.
after years I, too, will know them
but it is 1991 and I am seven
and she cannot tell me

26 August 2001