national anthology of the best
undergraduate writing 2010


Amish Boys, Megan Compaine

Nine years old, you saw Chang and Eng

on the History Channel, and you stood on a chair

to get Mom’s sewing box off the top of the fridge.


We decided to do it at the hip.

We both wanted to be on the right

and I won nose goes.


Both of our shorts rolled down to our thighs—

I giggled we could see our penises—and you stuck

the needle in soap three times, and tied a scarf


over your mouth like a doctor. And your skin

where your waistband was printed

came to a point under the needle


like a Hershey’s Kiss inside out.

This might not work, you said, and I

said come on it was your idea.


It hurts, you said. You put a Band-Aid

where you had pricked yourself, and you

wouldn’t give the needle to me.