Texaco, Texaco

Eloisa Amezcua

With eyes closed, I pictured different boys
from school and TV, practiced kissing them

on my arm in the third row of our family SUV.
I listened to Destiny’s Child and *NSYNC

on my portable CD player—a Casio.
My parents thought I was asleep as I slipped

my tongue slowly in and out of my mouth.
I was good at this. I was ready

for the real thing. I was eleven
and headed to San Luis for Nana’s 65th birthday,

and I knew American eleven meant Mexican thirteen
so if the older neighborhood boys came to the party,

I’d kiss them and they’d say, Wow, you’re good at that.
And I’d know those five hours in the car—

the stop at the gas station in Gila Bend
and again in Yuma, when the neon light

filtering in through tinted windows turned
everything redder, more serious, when I stayed

in the backseat with the luggage and groceries
and pretended to sleep, drool and spit covering

pinkish bruises at the crook of my elbow—
meant something:

I was good.
I knew it.
I was a natural.