Sex Ed


ago
1 min
100
readings
11
Finalist
Jury
Like erratic tennis balls,
giggles bounce around the classroom.
At my desk, slippery fingers
slide latex over a test tube.

Our teacher is British,
though his nasal voice obscures it.
Last week, he compared pregnancy
to a wrinkly parasite,
warned us about pushing oranges
out of rubbery nostrils.

No metaphor has ever tasted
like bile inside my mouth.
But those did.

As a child, I stayed awake at night
worried that swallowed seeds
would grow to apple trees
inside an unwilling belly.

Stretchmarks ringed around my thighs
testify I am no longer that little girl.

A few years ago, doctors told
me apples triggered my oral allergies.
So, I no longer swallow seeds.

But still, I lie, alone & awake
in darkness, picturing foreign grains
underneath my skin, stretching
my body into one alien.

Today, hungry teenagers
in new white lab coats
look into each other's irises,
glimpsing just honeypots & holes.
11

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