Laura Accerboni - AT SCHOOL

At school
the girls
line up according to the height
of their elbows.
It’s a new rule.
The mothers
fill their shopping bags
with rocks
and hide
the receipts between their lips.
They each have a number
that identifies the birth,
that distinguishes “proper birth”
from “a proper distance.”
At home
the girls
drink lots of water
and dream
of strong elbows
to grapple with
as in a war.
Those who survive
get a snack.
The others race to the bathroom
to reflect
on their loss.