Like all my friends in 10th grade,
I tried to lose my virginity.
We wore white lace skirts to school,
ready to be carried away
to the nuptial bed on a moment’s notice.
Imitating Madonna, we practiced rolling
around on our beds, writhing
like Abigail in The Crucible or Linda Blair,
not understanding what possessed us
or the power we possessed. More than a boyfriend,
I wanted a pet lion. I wanted to fly
to the real Venice; not the small world Disney
version I sneered at on family vacations.
No one knew how much time
I spent alone, waiting for the video to play
on MTV. In her tank top & fingerless gloves,
my friend Jennifer looked just like Madonna.
When it was my turn to thrash on the bed,
the girls danced around me while I held
a teddy bear tight against my crotch
and watched the silver cross bounce against
Jennifer’s breasts while she cheered me on.
Poet, feminist, activist, certified ennui therapist, and fairy tale revisionist. Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in Women’s Review of Books, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Bellevue Literary Review. She leads a double life on Long Island where she works in the insurance industry.