Twelve

When I was your age I went to a banquet.
When I was your age I went to a barroom

and bought cigarettes with quarters
lifted from the laundry money. Last night

I did all your laundry. I don’t know why
I thought this love could be pure. It’s enough

that it’s infinite. I kiss your cheek when you sleep
and wonder if you feel it.

It’s the same cheek I’ve kissed from the beginning.
You don’t have to like me.

You just have to let me
keep your body yours. It’s mine.

When I was your age I went to a banquet
and a man in a tux pinched my cheeks.

When I was your age I went to a barroom
and a man in a band shirt pinched my ass.

There is so much I don’t know about you.
Last night I skipped a banquet

so I could stay home and do your laundry
and drink wine from my grandmother’s glass.

When I was your age boys traded quarters
for a claw at my carcass on a pleather bench

while I missed the first few seconds of a song
I’d hoped to record on my backseat boombox.

When I was your age I enjoyed a hook.
You think I know nothing of metamorphosis

but when I was your age I invented a key change.
You don’t have to know what I know.