I love your hands. I take pictures whenever I can. Pictures of your hands. It’s a minor obsession. okay? You hate those veins, a junkie’s veins, you call them. I love em. I also love to sneak up when you’re peeing. Prim on a toilet, squatting in an alley, like this gem taken at the Paragon Park mini golf:

 

And here…

Once upon a time, you shared stories of female troubles; bladder infections and clinic abortions, rejections and rapes, lost dogs and distant fathers. It’s all too sad to remember, much less scribble it down, but there you are, struggling to climb the Heartbreak Hill of your very first book; the last chapter you call Final Downward, named for prison’s last call, when all the good little miscreant bitches and hoes were tucked in and locked down for that eternal Framingham night, a place miles past clock-time, when the razor-wire seraphim’s would begin their slow-altitude flyovers of your bad food, worse manners and basic cable purgatory.

Let’s call this snapshot Mini Mae West, Summer 1962. Hey, Big Boy…You, a muscular four or a runty six, in mischievous profile, frozen at pert attention, a pair of improv falsies, tennis or tinfoil balls, stuffed into your sunsuit.Sunsuits! An innocent time, remember, before People magazine and Jon Benet Ramsey sexualized little girls into painted and puffed pole-dance vamps. To this day broad shoulders and boyish boobs endure on your body, from the vast archeological  dig of your alternately sunny, solitary, and sinister childhood.

 All those prison years we dated by phone, postally, the longest distance by dream and urge, you told me of this picture. In your Berkshires storage unit, in a cardboard box tucked nearlyt five years ago by an ancient mistake, we found it. Pippin on the Beach. Happy and seventeen and 1973. Days, or a week, after the rape, you told me…changed everything. Lit the fuse that set the stage that primed the pump that broke the dam that would eventually spill and gush and inundate your world into a billion fragments of yellow bricks, poppy seeds, wizard dust and monkey shit. All I can see is a young,lithe beauty dancing down the tides, daring the darkness to bring it on, motherfucker, bring it on. The girl I love. Power and grace, heart and mind, the girl I love, tinfoil buzooms and all.

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