the summer my doctor said i was budding
i didn’t shed my skin like girls in books
they said came back new after summer,
like fantastical fairies with barbie bodies had visited
and made their breasts balloon and postures improve.
each year i looked hard for these girls like reaping a harvest,
the slims of their backs dimpled by kisses of winds off the highway
where the bottoms of their shirts had been pushed up
when they leaned down to tie the laces of their shredded converse high-tops.
the pediatrician pressed the stethoscope
to my chest that was budding like all the frost-covered trees at the same time.
it was cold
and bit like ice with a medicinal sting.
he told me to take off my shirt
that was green with little white and pink flowers
and i didn’t feel like sitting up straight at all.
my mama said
she’d buy me new airwalks with velcro straps
keep your chin up jellybean
you’re becoming a woman.