I can't say I love you truly. Longing for
who I was back then keeps me moving
along some sliding scale. Tall and gawky
morphed into sleek, late '80s. That girl,
lonely freak since kindergarten, stopped
concealing freckles and small "girls."
I lay glowing with sun gelee, golden-tan-
astrogliding through July and August.
Veggie burgers tasted like sawdust.
Ground turkey was a specialty item
from the food co-op. Nobody attempted
to milk an almond. Bread was a friend.
On that Salem beach with the first man
I ever loved the way Motown sounded
it out. Profoundly in love was unknown.
How do I love you, you who said we're all
"a little dinged up," post-50 and dating
again? You call me "beautiful." Not "cute"
--like a bunny rabbit, for chrissake! Never
the ambiguous "attractive"--mighty magnet.
1 to 10? No matter. I was seen, like a star.