I’m in love with C. Dale Young’s “Fourteen.”
You can find it in OCHO #22: Dear America, Don’t Be My Valentine!
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been
six days since my last confession. I let a guy
cheat off of my science test because it made me
feel smarter. And I ignored my Mother telling me
to be home by 9:00 pm. I don’t really even know
why she asks such things. And I continue to have
impure thoughts, sometimes every hour. I let a
girl kiss me, a boy, too, but we all had our clothes on.
And this may not be a sin, but I knocked Mike down
on the basketball court just as he was making a jump,
just to be able to help him up, help him back
to the locker room. His knee got twisted. It swelled
until it looked like a softball. It was so swollen.
He let me hold ice to it until his folks came.
I liked holding the ice to it. But I found myself
having impure thoughts, Father, strange thoughts.
I sat there holding the ice and staring at his knee
and up the legs of his shorts. I could see
the white edge of his jockey shorts and more.
I had to look, Father. I had to look.
Forgive me, I couldn’t help it, the staring.
It was like the time last week, after the game,
when I couldn’t help but watch the soap suds
under your chin just before you washed off.
I sat on a bench in my towel and watched you, the
shape of your back, your arms, your chest. I know
this is wrong, Father, watching you in the shower.
But I only watched the soap. I only watched the water.