Laughter fled our young mouths
before decency could intervene,
taking us on a careless detour
around the corner of cruelty.
Someone tossed a coarse comment
–it might have even been me–
about how hairy, how gross.
someone we never wanted to become
offered respite to our collective boredom.
Bolstered by backslaps
we competed for the crudest line
inspired by his ill-fitting shorts.
Entertained at last,
we snickered that wicked brand of delight
only earned at another’s expense.
Absorbed in the spectacle, I hardly felt
the tap on my shoulder.
I turned, looking into a woman’s pained face.