Angela walked like a tall, thin man
arms cupped around surprising breasts
that were smuggled into underwear
in public changing rooms.
She told us of knickers flushed and
unwanted attention from BOYS.
I had neither breasts nor boyfriends. Lunchtimes
I chaperoned couplings, looked the other way
in lifts and doorways, watched their hands
from the edges of my eyes, inch
towards the breasts – real pornography
in the flesh, within their grasp.
I taught myself to play the piano
to listen, feel my way to the next note –
these boys never learned. Every afternoon
they pressed her against the same walls, kissed
for thirty seconds, then walked fingers up
her blouse and received the same SLAP.
She learned that her breasts would carry her
anywhere, with any one of the grey-flannelled Dicks
whose eyes x-rayed our white chests for swellings.
My front was flat as a boxed-shirt, itching
For that creeping touch – and I’m not sure
that I’d have been so quick with the slap.