In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Touching
  • Raina Lauren Fields

When I was young, all I could thinkabout was touch, the way my body could

stumble and fall against concrete,against summer-warm asphalt,

the way my hands would scrapeand bleed against it, the way I'd

reach for her touch and attention,she'd say, "Sweet Pea" and I'd

forget any hurt. When I was young,

she told me to stop touching everything,grass blades, stingy weeds, bottoms of shoes,

my face, these things were all "dirty,"but I wanted to collect the colored caps

and glass bottoms like blossoms,imagine them as people and tilt their ends into a kiss.

I wanted to jam them into pockets andhear them clink together like bells.

Once, I picked a condomoff of the ground, coddled it, and

stuck the white latex to my lips,until my mother smacked it

away. "Are you crazy?!"she yelled in the middle of the street.

"Don't touch anything." [End Page 1011]



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