Girl Flesh Glows
It’s Saturday night and I pull the rollers
and silver clips from my thick curly hair,
feel it swing free onto my shoulders
with a perfumed rush. I rub my salt
and chlorine-dried skin soft with Nivea. My silky
tent dress patterned in paisley
swishes around my hips. Dabs of Tabu
deploy behind ear lobes, on wrists,
in elbow crooks. My sister and I sit silent
at attention in the back seat of Dad’s Buick
on the way to the party, nod seriously
when he warns us to behave, tumble
past the swing of chrome-accented doors
into Ruthie’s place, inhale the sweet
smoke of Durban Poison* thickening
the air under the beat of Vanilla Fudge
set me free, why don’t you babe before Old Spice
and English Leather battle it out with Tabu.
*Marijuana strain named after South African port city.
Vivienne Popperl lives in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Timberline Review, CIRQUE, and other publications. She was poetry co-editor for the Fall 2017 edition of VoiceCatcher. She received both second place and an honorable mention in the 2021 Kay Snow awards poetry category by Willamette Writers. Her first book, A Nest in the Heart, is forthcoming by The Poetry Box.