I. of girls and escapistry

with loud snorts coming from the next room

we join bedsheets and sneak out to
the town fair in the fashion of old
English princesses who

hadn't learned the art of climbing down windows and
across vines.

and we listen quietly for the first sounds
of winter (even when it's june and too sultry for snow) -
the dichotomous beating of hearts
from men who love each other but whose
sweaters are so thick they don't even realize it.

it's like a bulwark sometimes,
the ignorant flickering of lights that illuminate temporarily
those insolent vines (why won't
they stay still?), a solid reality we have
to scale

in order to meet new princes
and claim
new hearts, new vines, learn how to
tie knots and how to gather up
our skirts

(no not like that not like a dainty wench you
have to get dirty sometimes but here
this will help take out the worst of
the stains)

in one hand while battling
dew-tipped stone walls with the tips of our
toes on clean summer mornings.

and we still have time to dream about men who
love each other through warm sweaters whose
lines and lives are so cold they can barely say hello who
we secretly admire but won't admit it.