It’s currently Passover and National Poetry Month, and I’m proud to say I celebrated both yesterday. First I crashed a workshop by the warm and inspiring Steven Reigns at the West Hollywood Library. One of the prompts he gave us was “write about a time you cross-dressed.” See results below.
Then I went to Jody and Christine’s annual-ish Alternative Seder, meaning they downloaded a current events-themed program (which has a Hebrew name I can’t remember, let alone spell) from DIYSeder.com and served tilapia and vegetarian matzah ball soup. I think my favorite prayer (blessing? toast?) was a two-parter where we said one l’chaim for the bread the Israelites intended to make and one for the matzah they made instead. That sounded about right to all of us: There’s the stuff you plan to do, and then there’s what life actually delivers. Both have their place.
In eighth grade I went to school
in men’s underwear: white Hanes V-neck
striped Gap boxers, waistband folded twice.
(Gina Ciccotelli rolled her boxers at the bottom too
and everyone said she was a slut.)
We wore these items with men’s tube socks
pushed down around the tops
of volleyball shoes. I was not a man
and I did not play volleyball
at least not well.
Did boys find us cute?
Did they notice, at least, Gina Ciccotelli?
Did our baggy clothes suggest the boudoir?
Draw attention to blooming hips
and brand new breasts?
The answers elude me
because I was dressing like a boy
to look like the girls
whose volleyball legs I studied in P.E.
telling myself there was a difference
between admiration, emulation