Instructions for When You’re Alone in the House

Slide open the small tin of bubblegum lip balm.
Slide it shut, along its metal track. So good to hold,
a token that fits in your palm like a key in a lock.
Drink tiny shot glasses of toothpaste water
out of the cap of the toothpaste. Now you know
what drinking is, maybe, but the warning on the back
of the toothpaste says not to swallow it. Will you die?
The little roll-on of perfume, Dirty Kids brand, smells like
dandelions in the sun. What are you getting ready for?
It doesn’t matter. And then you read somewhere
about how sex actually works, not just The man puts
his penis inside the woman’s vagina, but how this occurs,
that it has to be hard, and big. How big? You practice
with a plastic bottle of Avon Sweet Honesty deodorant.
It hurts. You wonder how anyone gets ready
for anything like this.

Today’s Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge prompt was to write an instruction poem.


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