“My 1st Time”

by Peter Collier

4th grade’s grimy details I need not disclose.

Nightmares haunt the childhood me.

I raise my hand to be excused,

no #1s or #2s,

But I learned the pee-pee dance by default, an escape route through time traveling demons.

-PTSD preludes an after thought…

Today I’d rather have my pills with juice but dry mouth is the way to go when looking back.

Every time someone mentions that kid show,

-The Magic School bus-

The veins in my forehead multiply,

A new Science experiment unfolds.

“Don’t tell anyone,” he said forcefully.

“I know ways to make you pay,

You don’t want to suffer do you?

Your grades to slip?

An accident to happen?”

That shaggy carpet,

orange like a flinstone pushpop was paint-rolled corner to corner.

I can still smell the shame that fell between.

-Those rough fibers-

Scraped by knees physically, and mentally left me with that blue handicap sign around my necklace for the rest of who knew when.

-The doctors “say,” I’m better now. -

My classmates are all grown but I can still never recall any of their childish faces at the after school program.

-“Oh yeah, that’s right”-

I was the after school program.

Back in the hall way amongst the empty lockers filled with book bags and teachers’ pet apple cores, I’d take my time, inching my way back, then slip into my own restraints, and smell the rotting fruit.

I never did understand that concept, all the kids I knew liked junk food anyway,

-Ice cream could only shut me up for so long-

Didn’t he realize next year we would all take sex E.D classes?