I listened to boys I no longer wanted to know
debating the hotness of movie stars, but I
wanted nothing more than my hand in a training bra.
Once I told Annabelle, over the phone, that I loved her,
I sprinted downstairs to play Billy Joel on our spinet,
which I did, beaming or grinning, until dinnertime.
I had another life, in which I wore plate armor,
and another other life, which I preferred,
where I wore a form-fitting tunic and Mary Janes
whose contours I drew on graph paper, over and over.
In that life my chief power was reading minds;
though useful in battle, my power was tragic
on schooldays, because I had no way to turn it off.
My name was Psyche. She was melancholy,
with oversized eyelashes. She, in turn, wished she could fly.
I told myself that I would
tell myself years later
that this was how I saw myself, back then.
I felt that I had become “unstuck in time,”
like baffled, wise Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five.
When I heard a trio of seniors who wore
black jeans and Doctor Martens and janitor’s-key-ring chains
say they wanted a keyboard player, I put down my spoon
and ran across the lunchroom to tell them that I
could play the piano, and would get a keyboard soon.