Dress Up
Steven Rydman

The boy slips     from his mom’s closet   Her blue satin teddy     tucked under his arm   For the neighbor’s boy     he slides it on     over his flushed chest   over his barely sketched pubic hair   He writhes in front of him     as if sex is a dress you put on

And the boy wants the neighbor near him   Hopes that next year     in junior high   the neighbor will protect him     with his He-Man muscles and blond blow wave

So the boy keeps squirming through satin   Rubs the neighbor’s arm against the fabric   Watches as his hand     glides up and down     the crotch of his jeans

The boy spits in his palm and descends for his grand finale   His hand left open and wet     like an empty vase that waits for flowers