Hoops
by Christine Nichols


For prom I wore a hoop.
Starchy billows stretched
along a circular tension rod.

Imitation whalebone
whopped and flexed as
I squeezed through the door.

Underneath,
cool air tickled my thighs,
like fireflies
kissing the moon.

I pretended I
really was
that girl.

Later, in the pickup,
it arched between us
like an unneeded
chastity belt.

When we arrived home,
I opened the door
and the hoop spit me out.

I fell off the bench seat and
landed with both hands
on the sharp-edged gravel.

A rocky reminder
there is no Cinderella story
for girls like me.







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