JUST FLOWERS



A boy shouts an unfamiliar word in the middle of a classroom. There was no teacher around, just girls in long, Goldilocks-orange checkered skirts, tidy-white knee socks, black shoes dusty from recess chinese garter. A group of boys were laughing in one corner, cuddling the word like they owned it.

In porn, they called it a different name. The most powerful conversation in porn I ever heard went like this: a woman, with her back arched high up in the air, tells her partner that she was just using you for your cock. I tricked you, she said. Then she laughed.

I was lying on the bed half-naked. My inner thighs were red and hot to the touch. My mother and grandmother were in the room, holding powder and walking fast. The white light bulb behind them formed a halo around their bodies. Somebody put powder between me, patted it on, and put on my panties. Somebody says don't let anyone touch your flower.

Children in a classroom laugh. The word is hilarious.