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Two Queens Walk Out of a Bar photo

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. 

She takes in the smoke, her chest puffed out, like the men in the bar walk through a room. “I think Dean loves me more than I love him,” she says. 

“How do you know?” I ask her. 

“Dean always makes sure I’m not in the shower before he uses the bathroom.” When she exhales, her eyes open—her lips parted, a face guys make when they think you aren’t watching. And I know because sometimes I watch too. “I run the laundry and wash the dishes when he’s probably got shampoo in his eyes,” she tells me. “That’s how I know.” 

“He’s just being thoughtful,” I offer and pull lipstick from my bra, the cigarette paper catches the pigment easy. 

“What do you suppose that makes me?” She asks. You’ve never seen two drag queens quiet as long as we both are. We breathe in, our eyes looking elsewhere. The way some people will when they see two men in high heels sashaying down Packard with a gallon of milk. 

Lucy listens when I tell her how I should have seen it coming when this last guy I was with would only kiss me on the nose. Never one to mince words, she says, “And did he pat you on the head too?” We laugh practiced laughs for the drunken club kids as they stumble out to kiss in the alley. A man drives by in a beater, which is what straight people call a used car and what Lucy and I call a car we’d beat off to. He drives by with his window rolled down and yells, “Faggots!” 

Lucy flips him off. 

“Thank you!” I call after him. The club kids snigger and run inside. The moon is full tonight. Lucy said something about it earlier. She said, Looks like one of your ass cheeks Betty Butterfinger. 

She stubs out her cigarette with two fingers holding it, the rest as far away as they can get. The way this last guy I was dating would pick my panties up off his clothes. 

“What even were we talking about just now? Before that guy?” Lucy’s memory is why I keep her close. I tell her not to worry, we weren’t talking about her so it isn’t important. She laughs real hard at that. 

The guy in the beater drives by again, this time he wags a gun out the open window at us, casually the way you wave a hanky. “Put it away,” Lucy yells. “Now we all know you got a tiny dick!” She tosses her hair, “That guy knows what love is,” she says. 

“What’s that?” 

“Making someone else feel like shit,” we laugh real laughs this time, because the club kids went inside and Lucy’s always right. 

 I put out the cigarette between my heel and the pavement. I keep putting out and putting out and putting out. 


image: Aaron Burch