Michela L. Garabedian
In San Joaquin Valley all the pretty girls
wear yellow dresses. They wear yellow
and pick chilies until their hands stain red.
In San Joaquin Valley it never rains, though
pretty girls would look awfully pretty
in yellow dresses in the rain. In the backyard
in my underwear and black training bra
I am lining up sun-warmed apricots
on the diving board. Inside I am clawing
out pomegranate seeds with my kid-nails.
I leave a pomegranate handprint on
the shag carpet. I leave a pink handprint
on my church dress. I lick my hand though
I’m not supposed to. Most girls know
to rinse their hand in the pool before
touching their church dress. Instead
I rinse my whole body in the pool.
Someone points out he can see my
nipples through my wet church dress.
He offers to take me to the mall to buy
a real bra. Instead I let myself dry flat
on the diving board. Hands still stained
pink, he tells me I look awfully pretty.
MICHELA L. GARABEDIAN is a clinical researcher living in New York City. This is her first published poem.