Mindy Kronenberg


All night my pituitary thrummed

with the rage of a live grenade.

I was eleven, in love with the smell

of Spaulding balls, their pink rubbery

perfume released each time they smacked

the buckled pavement.


My mother rocked me against

the spell of blinding headaches,

and I curled in her arms as she dialed

my pediatrician, his voice a tinny

recitation that filtered

through the phone’s black cradle.


My Modess kit loomed on a dresser,

the elasticized belt with metal hooks

and cottony hammock, the accoutrements

of womanhood awaiting invitation.

My body pushed toward fertility

with a child’s imagination, and


I drifted in and out of a dream of

A My Name is Alice , my leg raised

and lowered for the orbit, my singing carried

beyond the playground and into a dawn

pummeled by Spauldings, the first light

spreading crimson across the landscape.