My smile’s wider than a crocodile.
I wait for Anschluss in my immaculate, German car.
In America, these days, it’s impolite not to heil
When you see the crossing of the crossing guard.
The year is 1938. Or is it ’91?
I’m thinking of the summer and a summer’s sun.
I can’t not stare at the girls and their pretty, white throats.
Their skin shines brighter, today. Whiter than hell.
And whatever the season, I’m giving them reason enough to sell.
We break all plans and swim along the coast
Where the women can swarm around me like a Heavenly Host.
I lick their ears. I offer them Anschluss and myself a toast.
If no one else, today, I’ll swear I am the Holy Ghost.
I like their white bodies, white beaches, and bikini lines the most.
Bonus recording with music:
“How To Grow Up” written and read by Luke Bauerlein with music by Adam Wassel and Andrew Baranek. “How To Grow Up” was recorded by a group of West Chester University students late in 2007 as part of a collaborative spoken word album entitled “An Evening in Winter.” The project was eventually sponsored by the WCU Poetry Center and received a grant from the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Luke Bauerlein’s work has previously appeared in the New York Times, Mid American Poetry Review, Think Journal, and elsewhere. He writes and currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania.