Grown Up Games

Since butterflies went out of style and dragonflies are in
you realize you are too old to play with barbies
just because Carol says she is
even though you mostly use them
now to simulate sex with ken
she’s traded hers in for a spiral notebook
and different colored glitter pens
coded to disguise her fascination with real men

so you tell your mom to throw yours out
and she does, she doesn’t save them
when you realize they’re really gone
you cry until the morning
and tell no one, ever, what’s wrong

you leave Carol for another friend
whose mom has a kitchen island
where you can play drunkards
sit at the pretend bar and order
a shot of apple juice and start acting silly
when she tells you that you’ve had enough
you stumble and slur, “Hit me again, bob!”

she compliments you on your hair
because she knows you have a bowl cut
and hate when people do that
so you’ll wipe your nose then rake
your fingers through your bangs
saying “Thank you, it’s snotural, baby,”

and your secret handshake involves
pretend drugs-maybe she has a coin
you have a crumpled up ball of paper
you meet each other in the middle of the room
glance around surreptitiously before whispering
“You got the stuff?” and she, “You got the money?”
exchange the fake drugs and fall down laughing

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