In a world where words have swallowed meaning,
what can one say?
All I remember of high school is hiding from damage.
Whoever got to the cafeteria line first
bought milk for the other,
and across from me, everyday,
you ate your salami and lettuce sandwich.
Seeing a photo of you in your thirties,
I thought, "That is a picture of me.
We came from the same egg."
Twenty years ago, at our first and last
male stripper show,
one of the performers asked our names.
"Nancy," you said, and "Nancy," I said.
"Are you sisters?" and it took him a moment
to realize it was a dumb question.
"Nancy & Nancy," Jordan Kassoff said after Humanities class,
"Sounds like a law firm,"
and he giggled with approval.
Others couldn't figure out what we had in common,
and resented us for being where
Everything was divided easily --
good and bad, heads and jocks, freaks and geeks.
And I was afraid to be caught too long in conversation with Jordan Kassoff,
though he seemed to understand more than the others.
Maybe that was his problem.
I'm miles away from that line of lockers,
hungry as coffins,
where "I love you" meant you'll make me look good in the hallway.
I never made anyone look good in the hallway.
I love you.