In Naugatuck River Review‘s Summer 2013 issue, the editors write, “In this, the 10th issue of Naugatuck River Review, the reader will find the continuation of what is fast becoming a tradition of publishing great modern narrative poetry. Poets in this issue . . . will surprise and inspire all who enter these pages.” They invite the reader in by placing Nancy Chen Long’s poem “How She First Discovered Sex” at the beginning. Here’s a sample:
“Only grown-ups can do it. Kids aren’t allowed to. Even in second grade,
she understood there were things her parents couldn’t tell her until she
was older. But it was Saturday night, and again there were giggles
and rustling noises coming from her parent’s bedroom . . .
. . . Candy wrappers strewn all
about the bed, her mom and dad propped up against pillows, chuckling and
munching, reading the Sunday funny papers . . .
. . . Seeing her at the door, her mom patted the bed. Hop
on up, sweetie. And she did, snuggled in between her parents as they
read the funnies to her, shared Almond Joys, licorice twists, Tootsie Rolls.
So this is sex, she thought, eating candy in bed. One of those fun things
only grown-ups are allowed to do.“