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self care permission slip
I want to write a love poem for the girls I kissed in seventh grade,a song for what we did on the floor in the basementof somebody’s parents’ house, a hymn for what we didn’t say but thought:That feels good or I like that, when we learned how to open each other’s mouthshow to move our tongues to make somebody moan. We called it practicing, andone was the boy, and we paired off—maybe six or eight girls—and turned outthe lights and kissed and kissed until we were stoned on kisses, and lifted ournightgowns or let the straps drop, and, Now you be the boy:concrete floor, sleeping bag or couch, playroom, game room, train room, laundry.Linda’s basement was like a boat with booths and portholesinstead of windows. Gloria’s father had a bar downstairs with stools that spun,plush carpeting. We kissed each other’s throats.We sucked each other’s breasts, and we left marks, and never spoke of it upstairsoutdoors, in daylight, not once. We did it, and it waspracticing, and slept, sprawled so our legs still locked or crossed, a hand still lostin someone’s hair … and we grew up and hardly mentioned whothe first kiss really was—a girl like us, still sticky with moisturizer we’dshared in the bathroom. I want to write a songfor that thick silence in the dark, and the first pure thrill of unreluctant desire,just before we’d made ourselves stop.