The cool kids glowed. I remember pulling out of the school parking lot, turning to see the light they cast onto the muddy field. The girls, the boys, so irresistibly cool. Makeup, lemonade, drugs, minds oh-so-so precocious. You smart aleck; you soon-to-be teen mom. How could we have known? Youth gripped us hard. How could you emanate light at 13?

There was M. When I remember her, I see her doing a shoe dance where her toes turn in, then out, then back in. She slides around on the concrete floors, bangs curled with a straightener. Her wrists seem lithe in my memory, nails short, hair wavy. An easy Frenchy thing about her. Indie without even trying. We were all stumbling over ourselves, backs breaking into puberty, while she snatched up the prettiest boy in the grade, no fucking sweat.


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