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[The virgin]
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[The virgin]

the scorpion, the rattler, the blue octopus--all the bestrides named for heart-stopping creatures, we werethirteen and fear was bad or good, on the bus, jennand greg hid under a blanket and french kissed, wewere scandalized, envious--but the rattler had threeloops, the scorpion a body-lifting drop, all strungabout the smell of spun sugar sweat balloons, thechaperones trudging to an old-timey picture standto dress like thieves and chiefs, posing for somethingto bring back home--accepting rides was one thingbut those of us who went too many times didn’t yetsense the taste developing, the stomach-flip adultsomehow, gravity defied a moment--soaring abovea choppy sea of melted wax faces before plunging--and yes we measured each other by it, as jenn andgreg strolled off wing in wing for soft serve, stillpink-cheeked, suspended for a time above us all [End Page 51]

Liz Robbins

Liz Robbins’ second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award, judged by Patricia Smith. Poems are in recent or forthcoming issues of Cortland Review, Denver Quarterly, Grist, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Kenyon Review. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College.