We are all swooning here, drunk as young debutantes on slick buckets of new money oil pumped in from the Western plains. All our fathers look like undercover cops and even the most demure southern mothers grocery shop in high heels and low-cut blouses the color of bruised fruit. We are enormous here. We vote yes to more and more and more. We spoil our buildings like mistresses, covering them with ruby neon and too many mirrored windows. Everywhere looks like Christmas all year. Every place promises you your own dancing girl or at least a thick, juicy steak. We don’t trim the fat. We want blood and marrow. We want cash. On their sixteenth birthdays our older sisters grow sequined dresses like a second skin. We watch them shuck oysters from the gulf and shudder when they spit out the shy and briny bodies. Soon we too will be hungry for pearls. For now, we sweat honeysuckle all summer long and ride our bikes through every alleyway in the state. Sometimes strange men in thunder-dark cars follow us and so we lead them home to our mother who has become a tornado. She opens the front door and the air thickens; all the birds in the county fly north.