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Two queens walk out of a bar and light a cigarette, me and Lucy Littlefist. Lucy says this. She says, “In a relationship,” she traces quotation marks in the air around the word, “one of you always loves the other more.” And she’s right. She secures her wig with another bobby pin, pulls at her sequined dress.
There was once a time when my aunt and uncle had room enough to take us the odd weekends our parents were on vacation. Their house was smaller than ours and I felt haughty in it. The walls were dark and the air smelled musty. In the afternoons dust poured in the air like cigarette smoke in an old black and white movie. Going out into the sun was blinding.
Because I can tell it's going to be a crappy day at work I dress up as Virgin Mary with my blue silk dress and white head scarf and lemon drop halo that got coffee spilled on it so it's a little warped, but it will do for one day of selling shoes.
What came next was one long show: broken strings, smashed microphones, guitar solos without boundaries or purpose, house parties with bands in the kitchen and bands in the attic, missing kick drum pedals, stolen snares, songs we couldn’t figure out how to end and we drifted inside them, lost within our own imaginations.
You will forget by your fourth birthday these your shifting first memories—your father’s goats at their graze, their black tongues slathered across your face, the chickens prancing and clucking upon the dirt of the yard, the spare trembling grasses and the crazed droning song of the grasshoppers, their brown juices streaking the lines of your palm.
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cover by Hollis Brown Thornton
Adrienne Celt, Jayson Hawkins, Sean Kilpatrick, Sharanya Manivannan, Charles McLeod, Colin Winnette, Becky Adnot-Haynes, Courtney Maum, Kate McIntyre, Delaney Nolan, Suzanna Quintana, Robert James Shaw