I grew up in New York when there were gangs
read Blackboard Jungle and the New York Post
so I believed I should be able to kill people
at least be able to look dangerous.
A Jewish boy at thirteen
my mother made it hopeless
my pressed slacks spotless, hiked up to my ribs.
No one crossed the street to avoid me.
Italian boys were “rocks”
jeans worn down across their hips, pointy boots
thick black hair slicked back into a duck’s ass
menacing and not allowed to me.
They hummed and cooed
Oh hi Eddie, see Vito and Carmine?
They are suuuuch cute guys.
They dangled and teased
Oh hi Eddie, see my new breasts?
You can’t touch them ‘till you’re rich.