l o u i s a    s t o r e r








And   the    redwoods    look   like   they   were   sugared    in movie   cocaine.

I    swear    to the    roads    I   would    die   without   him   and     his   gun

and   his    lapsed     Mormon’s   stash   of   nonperishable     food    items.

Thank   Stevie!    I    won’t    starve   in   the   woods:   thank   Stevie!   my  best   friend

is   in  Israel   this   month  and      is   a   stone  cold   fox   with  or   without

a    sexy   boy   habib.   Over   Skype     I   heard   that   the     world   there

was   salt   and  puce      and   a        pulverized      toy     kaleidoscope

of   corrugated    tin   roofs   and    tent   cities.   	There    are   nine   verbs

for   heartbreaker    and    the   men   can’t      imagine   how   anyone

wouldn’t   want   a    little     Puerto   Rican    in    them.       Understandably

no     one    approves   of    one’s   barely     sustenance    yak     farming

one’s       victory     garden   as    nestled    in    the    Staten   Island   dump

one’s  whisper     sweet    baby   jesus   may   we   not   be   related      one’s

frenzied    rolling     of    dust    bunnies    and     cobwebs    into      balls    of   space  dust.

Forgive     me     a     favorite       word    seems       like    callous      white  girl  bullshit

as    spoken     just    after   the   poor’s      peninsula       was    razed.      Bless

the    binding  of   my    heart     in   a    “skein”     of    your      purest      angora.

Bless      my   own     Miami     Alexis     fashion   doll   bathing       topless

by   the  “Galilee”   Sea.   		You    were     both    so   lovely     before

the    daisies     were     a    wildflower     before    the     rocks   were   amethyst.


Meanwhile     somewhere     in the coastal     desert       the night’s     thrashing

of       old    growth  wood       by  dirty     dishwater    sea     means   I    would   kill

for    a   pint    of    mint    ice   cream.     I    would    mainline   his    fingertips.

I    would    wait   at   the      crossroads   to   find   the  rare    golden   bears

inhabiting   downtown   LA     and   weave    their   manes   into   tassels

for   our    rich  girl     equestrian       boots.  		                   I    would   devour   rancid

radioactive     salmon.   I   would   smithy    a   bumblebee’s    nest

of   lost   earrings    and   gold    hula   hoops   and   heroin    needles

into   a    cage   that      would   let    me     stay   a    thing   of       currency

rather    than    a    three-legged     mongrel     okay    for   eating   in    lean   times.




Dammit   I    was   wrong    about   the  beehive    wigs    and   the   doe-eyed

end   to   skinny   jeans      tyranny.     I     was   wrong   when  Amy   Winehouse

did    die    by      abstinence.  		  And    when     all   the    punk   rock   boys   did   do  lines

enough    to   twice   circumnavigate   the        spine   dividing   hipster    land

from   the   graveyards   of      Maspeth.	  How     dare    the    end    of    the    world    

resemble  a   twenty-five     off    sale    at         Anthropologie:    

here’s     to    all   the    woodsman    plaid      the    decorative    suspenders  

and    the   woolen   caps   embroidered  in    gold   galleon    coins.        Oh   God

not    the   horses   again!       They   did    jump!     They    did    swim!    You   the   marvel

of     one’s   well-bred    adult    life   stopped   to   wonder    whether   there   was

something    wrong    with    someone   who   believed   that   the   wild   ponies

living   upon       a   single         barrier   island    among         one   large   ocean

had   anything         to    do    with     claims   of    Spanish        royalty   

or    the   only  just    articulated        conception  of   colony  

as        utopian    sandcastle    all   dripping    amidst      sea    mist

and    moody      teenager   clouds.		Whether    a     girl   so   devoted

to     the    solitary      pursuit    of     horses     of    any   kind    could   mother   

children      could   raise    a      wrinkly-headed    tadpole  puppy     could   stitch

a   new      flag   and   then   send    it   up    the   flagpole    of   human   history.

Oh   George!    father    of    a     country      called    an    itchy    burlap   sack!

Every    captain    could     raid    a   shore.	Here    be     the    bloody       bounty

here   be       the   maidenhead.     	Here      be     the     foolish    storm    mermaids

straightening    their    strawberry         dreadlocks    with     clamshell         castanets.		

Give   a   dumb   girl   a      break:         give     me       one    perfect    princess   minute

as    the    nothingest        cartoon    fish   swimming     the   vermin’s     maze

that     is      a    beautiful     shipwreck  and   then     a      fleeting     another  

as      the    infanta   of   the   blood.    It     is   so   stupid:         I    know  

I    was    wrong    when    I     said     it     was    the    dog   who   was   the    pretender.

I   know   I    should   have     said    I     required        a    grand    duchy

from    the    beginning.     Would    it    make   a   difference   now    if    I    said

I    have    been      an    asshole     who   likes     to     buy    things?     I’m    so     sorry

my     mother     never   told     me    about      generic    laundry       soap    

or    that    god    does    not    love    anyone     who        leaves     the     lights     on.

The     dog    has     been    heroic    here:     peeing    outside   in    the    rain

eating    her    cheap     kibble   dry          making     do    with   a   bivouac  

in    her    aunt’s    patio.         Maybe     you      would     be    proud    of    her.


LOUISA STORER recently relocated to Seattle after a decade spent moving house and buying clothes in New York. She now lives in a blue cottage with her new boyfriend and their dogs and works as a youth services librarian at Seattle Public Library. Her work has appeared most recently in Shampoo and Caketrain.

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