What You Know

You know to fear windowless white vans.
You know a trunk’s as good as a coffin.
You know to kick and bite and scream
Like your life depends on it, because it does.

You know ponytails invite rapacious hands
And homemade Halloween treats hide poison.
You know to guard your bathing suit area,
To report so much as a vibe that unsettles.

But do you know how to tell love from desire?
How to refuse sweetness when you’re starving?
How to look in the mirror and see what’s there
              Instead of what isn’t?

I ask because I hope that you know
What I don’t.

Because there’s so much I can’t             teach you.