The Basement, 1982

Eleven years old,
I closed the door against
The high, small, laundry window
To crouch before its glow
In the windowless family room. The TV—
An honest piece of furniture,
Brown behemoth, wide enough
To sport a huge doily dolloped
With a basket of dusty, silk flowers—
Held the forbidden.
Oh, Wooden Mother of HBO,
Bringer of The Blue Lagoon, thank you.
Barely a teen, Brooke Shields,
Shipwrecked, sick with fever,
Laid out on her back, prone breasts
Sponged by her cousin, innocent,
Cooling her, his hand releasing rivulets
Across her, passed her fever to me
Down there, suddenly new.


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