They’re not sure of their power yet, though they feel it growing and pulsing when men in cars slow down to stare at them (some covertly, some overtly). The girls are lengthening, too, becoming sauntering giraffe-things. The boys they love are changing, the sweat on their brown skin intoxicates the girls and makes them think of nothing but at all except for kissing. But just when the girls want to be wrapped up in the boys’ long, bony arms, the boys turn into birds and fly away.
Underneath ratty t-shirts what once was hollowed out and nothing is swelling up and out. Vargas girl breasts are encased in ill-fitting purple polka dotted bras. They have to buy new bathing suits. They have to figure out a way to control their power.
In the dawn of every summer, I remember the way it felt to be thirteen in June. I was finally getting out of a painful awkward phase that involved a large nose and big glasses. I was growing a chest out of bone. There was a pool nearby, with a water park, and I remember looking down at my legs, waist, and hips. My skin was glittering with sweat and sunscreen, and was starting to glow a golden brown. I had hidden my glasses deep within my tote bag, underneath my towel, and I didn’t care if they got bent or ruined or lost forever. I wouldn’t go all the way underwater, wouldn’t get my head wet, because my eyes were thickly lined with Wet and Wild black eyeliner (#99) that I had heated up with my sister’s cigarette lighter. It helped the liner go soft, and spread smoothly on the lid. I was unstoppable, invincible, that June when I was thirteen.