Tuesday, May 4

Tiny Crimes

When I wasn't forced to stand
nose to the corner wall–exiled
for a crime they could never prove I committed
    I ate lunch
at the table with the rest of the tiny felons.
I remember the day when
Teacher, the one with the laugh as big
as her bottom,
waddled over to where I sat
with my partners in pee-the-mat-during-naptime crime,
my peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich
stuck to every small finger,
and she painfully bent over, her flesh
billowing out in all directions,
and pulled down the elastic waist of my blue jeans
to reveal
   –GASP
my older brother's tighty whiteys
hanging loosely on my small hips.
She aimed a chubby finger at my seat, spewing
a vicious laugh from the foghorn of her mouth.
My secret flooded the classroom, each tiny head dissolving
into sticky laughing puddles.
   "Doesn't she own girl underpants?"
   "Maybe she really has boy parts!"
I sat with guilty hands and burning cheeks
sifting my three and a half years of memories, quick as salt
    but heavy as sand,
silently making deals with the laughing devil.
I'll never forgive my Mom and
the washing machine
for failing me, and
I'll never pee the mat again
I swear–
    I'll never pee the mat again

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