|Jan/Feb 2010 Spotlight|
Girls Not Wanted
None of us would admit it but the Friday night
we went out to party and failed miserably
(the laughter in the phone booth
climbing the plexiglass walls into hysteria
until our eyes watered,
realizing we weren't invited to the party,
to any party, and at first it was funny,
uproariously so, until suddenly
it was not), we all started to cry, hiding
behind our hands, purses or hair.
Some jock at school had said, sure
just call me for directions, and we'd
dressed up like it was New-York-cocktails-
and-smoke-machines instead of Hi-Desert-crash-pads-
The number he gave us was to the pound,
where unwanted dogs wait for death,
resting on arthritic haunches.
And weren't we good enough? Sure I had braces,
Jen was too tall and Linda's dad was
a cop—but didn't we deserve love?
Or if not love, at least to feel cool?
Even a house party would've sufficed our need
to belong to something bigger than
our trio, even if the cops had come five
minutes into it, even if just one of us
had been cat-called at or felt up
it would've been a victory for all three.
How could I have known that High School
would end someday and that the party
was in the phone booth
and someday I'd be wishing for two friends,
even one, to go hysterical with
and that phone booths would be obsolete,
that the phone would evolve by becoming smaller
and smaller until it fit into my ear canal
and if it appeared that I was talking to myself
it was likely there was a phone the size
of a Tic-tac in my brain.
And none of us will admit it but we feel
shocked when we do see a phone booth,
relics that they are, the way, I imagine, we'd feel
if we found a dying star on the sidewalk,
smoldering, turning to ash,
because even if it has no use,
it is not unworthy of our pity,
unworthy of our urge to pick it up, hold it
to our chest, whisper how we love it,
how it hasn't let us down,
that we know it did the best it could
with what it had to offer.