“locker room talk,” a poem by yarrow yes woods

yes yarrow woods

locker room talk

i have not heard someone say grab ‘em by the pussy
in any locker room. what i have heard

is she just lay there so i stuck it in her ass
in middle school. this was not in the locker room,

but at the row of lockers outside my homeroom.
laughter of all kinds. this wasn’t
a boys’ club. the grin and spiked hair who said it
had boys and girls around him.
mr. wagner walked by and wore a face like
i’m not touching that one.

i have not heard i moved on her like a bitch
in the locker room. what i have heard

is a second grade boy say
she’s a dirty little slut about a third grader
on the bus. the bus driver yelled back
you don’t talk like that on this bus.

i’m not sure if i heard i don’t even wait
or a friend talk about someone in a purple dress

in the locker rooms i’ve been in, but i have,
but i have in sociology courses
and in gas station parking lots, but i have in
driver’s ed. cars and at the doctor’s office,
in front of an aquarium, next to a playground,
in my living room, in my own mouth. most of our speakers
are not children, but they cackle
just like them.

yarrow yes woods is a maid and copywriter in Chicago. Some of her is available soon or now at BOAAT, DREGINALD, The Wanderer, Columbia Poetry Review, Palimpsest, The New Territory, and DIAGRAM.

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