I am sexting on Easter Sunday again. Great-Aunt-Trump-Supporter-Sally has decorated the house with stuffed Easter bunnies and they permeate into the bathroom, the slime from their trail sticky with chocolate Cadbury cream. My teeth rattle in the jelly bean jar of my heart, smiling oh so wide. There is no way to make my church dress look enticing in a Not Lolita Way, so It lays in a forgotten clump next to Mr-CarrotTop-Fluff-Monster in disguise. My second cousin has invited her boyfriend of one week. He got Pizzagaina stuck in his teeth and nobody said a word!
“I’m sorry I couldn’t invite you. Next year, maybe?
But just know when I am saying grace I am thinking of your mouth on mine.
THIS IS AN ODE
this is an Ode to the 17-year-old lesbian who works at Chick-fil-A.
this is an Ode to she, who Clucks Clucks to the customers & Clucks Clucks to general managers & begrudgingly gives one singular Cluck to the regular “Steve” who mixes whiskey in his sweet tea & gives her pats on the bottom where her tail feathers lie.
this is an Ode to every time she shines the greasy tables as a mother hen would, keeping them gleaming eggs in her nest. When she catches her reflection in the sparkling shell of the table she looks so clean in her filth, her special sauce coated face; an upstanding young woman of bless yous & frozen biscuits & her mother’s Sunday service.
this is Not an Ode to that aforementioned mother who pokes & prods at our 17-year-old lesbian in their shared bathroom, urging her to eat mor grilled chikin on salads so she doesn’t turn into a cow that’ll be left by a man who mixes whiskey in his sweet tea and gives 17-year-olds pats on the bottom where their tailfeathers lie.
this is Not an Ode to the boys she flirts with at school & behind the counter, batting her eyes with the promise of a taste of the peach pie sour between her legs. Oh how they hoot and holler for the chance for a roll in the hay with our naked spring chicken!
No, No. This is not an Ode to them.
this is a song only sung for the girl who lies awake in the dark afraid of the brimstone & would rather spend her days after graduation looking forward to a Sunday off & a swelling belly because in her world there is simply no way to speak; no way to eat a fruit that grows off the vine. All she will ever know is how to Cluck & how to Guzzle.
One day, she will walk into the break room & find a rat lying dead on the middle of the linoleum. Neon blue poison will be leaking from it’s mouth & its body will be half limp in perpetual slumber. & all our girl will do is pick up the vermin in her gloveless hands & begin to squeeze in unmitigated rancor, crushing it’s tiny rat bones and making its tiny rat eyes bulge from its tiny rat sockets.
When she is sated, she will drop the carcass in the trash, tighten up her ponytail, & carry on Clucking.
After all, to rot in any other space would be unsacred.
I AM SEVEN YEARS OLD
And I do ballet in the attic above the church with the European stained glass window that looks out at Dyke’s Lumber. And it’s my two favorite words the sharpness of Ike constrained against the sleepy syllables of Lum Ber I like the way it cuts something mean then drifts off into something molasses. And when Dad picks me up in the shiny white car I tell him this he repeats the words back at me “DYKES LUMBER” but when Dad says it it does not sound as good as when I say it. And in the backseat I rip rip rip my shiny white tutu splotchy pink tights until my Mom buys me new ones. And I like to read books not about wizards because they aren’t real Greek Heroes are real (well, they were real). And I see myself as Helen of Troy atop the mast of a tall ship so everyone can look at me. And I am very pretty in a dress just like how Katherine is very pretty in shorts when she gets home from soccer we will have a hula hoop contest. And I will ask Dad if he can take us to Taco Bell because Katherines Mom drove us once. And I liked the cream cheese dessert cake. And it was better than anything Dad has ever made even though I would never tell him. And Katherine had splotchy icing on her cheek and I licked it off! And Dad will say no because it’s bad for me. And that is okay because nothing is wrong except I’m almost done with all the books in the library and Katherine is not home from soccer yet and Dad isn’t good at my favorite word like I am.
Jaden Tyler Urso (she/her) is a writer and theatre artist based in NYC. More work can be found in Hobart, Maudlin House, Terror House, etc. Find her on twitter @jadentylerurso.