The moment is nailed to the masthead
      of our memory.

August 10, 1988.  In the bath.  Ethan learns
            the facts of life, many years
                        our rap is

From camp comrades
        and co-conspirators,
he knows "dicks" go into vaginas,
                                              or can,
       and shows us with his hands.

The baby connection still eludes. When told,
      his voice takes flight,
 Canadian geese on high,
             honks of horror and disgust.

"You mean you've done it twice!" he says,  in shocked
     Shamefaced,  as if caught in the act,  
                  we silently confess.

But how, he wants to know, marbles
clicking furiously in his brain,
      how do you get it in the slot with all
 that hair?

We help each other, Sandy says
straightfaced, while peeing
 in her pants.

All night he flashes winking
his reeling head arcs like a welder's torch,
as facts get joined to facts,
     and the universe yields its secrets
 in the blinding light.

August 1988

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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