Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
Issue Twenty-seven
Winter 2011
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How to Avoid Overstimulation or How to Reattach Plastic Lettering to a Jersey
Daniela Olszewska and Carol Guess

Down in the suburbs, Chrissy locked me in the panic room with a bottle of Nair and The Joy of Cooking. Or Joy of Sex. I was learning Confection. How to Sculpt Pastry from Singed Hair and Bone.

She wasn’t the boss of me. We lettered with Splay, our French manicures tumescent with our experimentations in color, light, gesture. We bound each other’s wrists with phone cords stretched rec room to porch. All split level-with-an-attitude, enemies trudging in the same direction. Our parents divorced the city, shoving horses aside. Pimping out the countryside.

Minus traffic we were promised quiet, but cereal echoed and socks broadcast static. Birds chirped like horns honking Stop ’n Go.

She taught me shave, prank, pink. I taught her uplift, binder, thinner. We BFF’d phone numbers with paperclips and magic markers.

Some post-prom return to the city this is, Chrissy, Chrissy. Now, let me out of the sitting room. I’m too oranged with Sun-In and Our Bodies, Ourselves. You unlearnt me. Look at this Spice Rack. How to Rearrange The 2000 Years Worth of Salt. Your idea of a graduation present surprises me in half.

But I’ll lead you around now. I’ve still got my jacket for Ditching Homeroom and Scrawling Minor Female Obscenities on the Walls of the Rectory. We are on the orphan-track: Soon, we’ll learn to measure in city blocks, we will be leather-elbowed w/a cloud making up a good third of our pout-face.

To think she would be the one to grow up to not be able to deal… I read her the day’s Riot Acts, I stretched out the post-prom gloves, I realized that she wasn’t still the boss of me. This cockroach-induced breakthrough, it will eventually lead to a calm hand-holding over a hospital bed.

About Daniela Olszewska and Carol Guess

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