Famous

Hollywood

As a girl, I was famous for curls like Shirley Temple’s and for ordering Shirley Temples with extra maraschino cherries. For fits of laughter if my middle sister so much as wiggled her fingers in my direction.

For Madonna bangles to my elbows and later, gold-threaded dresses of the thinnest Indian cotton, and short-lived attempts at having boyfriends.

When the other girls found brief fame at parties, mouths gaping under beer funnels, I disappeared into a shuttered room, famous only to my closet and the journals that kept my black-clad company. Here is where I would probe my belly, feeling for the bottom rib, as if l could elicit Eve from my own scarcity.

Today, my lips brushed famously against her neck. My longing was famous, fleetingly, to the very moment it kissed goodbye.

After Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Famous”

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