IN THIS ISSUE:



Rachel Adams >>

Roshelle Amundson >>

Kenny Bellew >>

Cat Campbell >>

Alicia Catt >>

Raymond Cott-Meissel >>

Ben Findlay >>

Gail Gates >>

Brent Giesen >>

Kristine Hayes >>

Blaine Huberty >>

Peter Laine >>

Amy Mattila >>

Suzanne Nielsen >>

Dawn Nissen >>

Norah O'Shaughnessy >>

Rebekah Pahr >>

Sally Reynolds >>

Donna Ronning >>

Kah Shepard >>

Kelly Taylor >>

Jonah Volheim >>

William Wells >>

Jake Wendlandt >>

S. A. Victory >>

Kate Young >>

Alice Lundy Blum >>

Natallia Meleshkevich >>

Alicia Catt




But We Are So Thirsty




How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Money

He wore a pale pink power tie
and a pair of Prada pants
slack at the waistline to hide
the one-person microtent he'd pitched
upon my arrival at blind-date sushi
in my littlest blackest dress.

His Match.com handle was RichNGenerous,
a wannabe trick in a company car, ego and pomp
to supplant those inches he lacked.
And me, I came for the promise of a meal
and strong drink, spicy tuna and sake,
thirty cents in checking
and savings long depleted -
my reckless twentysomething sensibilities.

He lectured me on investments and dividends,
slid his fingers up my thighs
while Tanaka-san sliced onions
into hibachi acrobatics across the table.
He paid with black plastic
and in the parking ramp
bent me over his hood ornament
with a stomach full of fermented fish
and I think I never felt so empty in my life -

until he pressed the folded hundreds into my hand,
lovely pages torn from the ledger of Success.


1:14 am

and i'm just shaking, waiting
for that Escalade
to pull up, my cavalcade
of knights in shining
Rocawear:
fatboy and sugarboy
got silver rims spun out to the tune of
Smalls comma Biggie
goodness gracious the paper

and a thirty-eight
stuck sideways, glinting
off the cup holder, hinting
at another
in the glove box
nine-milli in the trunk

fatboy’s always
licking his teeth at me
lips wagging, like
i'm sandpaper dry:
i need to be moistened
like i'm a joint:
he wants to suck me down

until i burn

and sugarboy, that smile, oh
those long braids, cornrows so tight
i can see my high reflected
in the whites of his eyes

silky bass thumping through speakers
that Notorious voice
i’m with whatever

fatboy palms my crumpled bills,
winks, sinks facefirst
into a quarter pounder


and sweet sugar, oh
he takes his mutherfuckin time

wrapping up my little
plastic wonder

he kisses my mouth goodbye,
smooth honey tongue
rims spinning away on pavement
and if you don't know
now you know


i'm sandpaper dry:
ready to burn


the tiny powderpuff
clenched (like my heart
in my throat)

in my fist



Achromatopia, 1988


I.
When you were young, your father
sold mirrored sunglasses door-to-door
from an old leather briefcase.
There was little work for a man
who spoke no English, who’d lost
both teeth and sanity to Castro’s war.

His skin was leather, too,
liver spots like blisters bubbling
up through sun-soaked rawhide.
In every photograph you’ve kept
he wore dark imported aviators.
You can’t remember his eyes.

II.
Your mother was colorblind, she said,
dreamt only in black and white.
You imagined her dreams were like silent films
of frozen women and flammable men.

You saw her bare breasts once,
pale and full like billowed silk
but bruised like spilt merlot.
She turned away before you could show her
the only common thread you'd found to hold:
your own chest, flat and barren,
also stained with wine.






III.

Your father learned to speak English
from daytime television
and stopped selling sunglasses
when the fabric of his frontal lobe unraveled.

He took up storytelling instead
and whispered lullabies at night,
his body heavy on your body,
pressing tar-stained fingers into your lips.
Silent films in shades of Crayola,
crimson to carnation.

IV.
Your mother wore tortoiseshell eyeglasses
with thick plastic lenses blurred by Marlboro smoke.

You imagined her poor eyesight was to blame
for the blood stains overlooked
in your laundry basket.


Achromatopia, 2010


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Alicia Catt is a super-senior creative writing major at Metro State and the managing editor of Haute Dish. In high school she was voted "Most Likely To Be On Jerry Springer." It hasn't happened yet, but a girl can dream, can't she?