Everything about her was recessive: hair retreating into tight curls, arms holding
legs close to chest. She folded into a wooden chair like the yes/no notes we agonized over; tight origami shapes we passed while Coach wrote heavy petting
on the board. We hated her. Her child’s body and thick lips. Her shins bleeding where she ripped off scabs.
Coach going over the concept of foreplay, explained how the family dog never
really loved us—was only after the pleasure of being touched. You have to butter
a lady up was his best attempt at talking about the bodily secretions most of us
were wearing like invisible gloves. She was beautiful and secretly we loved her.
In class, she blew on her open sores same as the head cheerleader blew on
wet petal-pink nail polish. It was confusing; this separation of love from pleasure. She looked satisfied. Harvesting dry red chips, taking herself into her mouth like bread. She didn’t notice how even Coach gagged a little when he looked at her.
His argument for abstinence,
a game of averages: If two people sleep with two people who have slept with two people, then we’ve all slept with your mother and our fathers, we’re all carrying something catching within us.