It was a mild shock, not to say disappointment, to learn that virgins could
take off their virgin sans O’s like the kind in Love and Basketball.

Our courting, dynamic, felt
that belligerent-beloved to me. That charmed.

But girls did, must—if I had—take it off without ‘O’ and even without
leaving that infamous magic bindi on the sheets after his slam dunk.

I didn’t understand how my innocence could have
been left on a mattress on his floor so many weeks ago now—multiple replays since—

And not one firework. Fast-walking pretend-purposeful, I went
Laps around Barnes & Noble, one eye on Sexuality. I 

Didn’t understand why there was a middle-aged man in cut-offs
Motionless as installation in front of “Sex for Dummies.”

I settled on a too-large paperback titled I *heart* Female Orgasm.
Like I Heart Huckabees,
I thought. Lapping again, I practiced

Naomi Watts duck-face fffuckabees.
It turned out the book had very little regard for orgasms of the kind

Produced by Spike Lee. It turned out that mattress wasn’t any more
magical, even for a first, than a red-brown stain, than a sink that doesn’t even whisper net.

And it turned out my O-virgin was just waiting for an honest-to-goodness
Fourth of July, honest-to-God fireworks, to self-destruct.

Laura Page is founding editor of the fledgling poetry journal Virga. Her work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Crab Creek Review, The Fanzine, HYPERTEXT, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She is the author of two chapbooks: Children, Apostates (Dancing Girl Press, 2016) and Sylvia Plath in the Major Arcana (Anchor & Plume, forthcoming).