an excerpt from “Dykes Day”

The following is an excerpt from dykes day, a holigay; dykes day is an anthology of poetry, prose, and fiction. Visit to buy their new book!

Fall 2003

So, I’m just sitting there, pulling on my sleeve, brushing mites off the basket, just doing lil fidgety shit…but really, I’m looking at Jaleesa out the corner of my eye, waiting for her to light the fucking blunt.

Like, what’s taking so long, miss girl? She’s like…inspecting the shit. It looks like a thick gorilla finger, shiny with spit. I can already tell she got the shit too wet. She’s looking at it real hard, turning it this way and that. So, I’m like “What…are you doing?” and she’s like “I think there’s a hole in it; hold on.” So I let out this totally exaggerated sigh because I know Jaleesa hates when I do that.

She says to me, “Those who cannot roll…should shut the fuck up and be patient.”

I’m really about to say sumn slick but I hold my tongue because she’s right, beggars had better not be choosers. So I just wait and promise myself that by this time next year, I will know how to roll a joint, even if it’s a pathetic one, so I am not left merciless at the hand of another.

The thing is that it’s getting cold. That’s why I’m on edge. It’s like one day it was real hot out and we were walking to the pool as early as nine in the morning, wet feet squelching inside polyutherane slippers from the KMART. Then just like that *snap* we are no longer dealing with the playful fluctuation of fall, when I could still get away with a denim jacket. No, things have gotten progressively arctic. Like today I wore my black ACNE mockneck under my white button up shirt and I thought that would be enough but by homeroom, I was wearing Jaleesa’s North Face and I haven’t taken it off since. I wish we could smoke inside. That’s what I want to be when I grow up; a girl who smokes inside. We had an assembly today where some professionals came and spoke to us about our ambitions and what awaits us after we graduate; I wonder what our guidance counselor  Mrs. Smalls would say if I told her that my sole ambition in life is to smoke indoors. Bong rips in bed first thing when I wake up, passing a J back and forth while I poach an egg on the stove, smoke wafting through the phone lines as we talk and talk and –

“Here. You gotta hold it like this though.”

Jaleesa is holding her thumb and forefinger out to me, placed strategically to cover the minuscule hole that currently dictates whether we get high or not.

“So I gotta play the flute just to smoke the shit.”

“Girl just hit it” Jaleesa says. Already ahead of me, she blows out a billow of smoke. I can’t help but smile, I love this girl so much, and I love her the most when we are down here in the silos, just the two of us, away from God’s watchful eye. Even our echoes are hidden down here. I do as she says, I hit it and when I pull, I can feel the hot air where the hole is, I can feel it trapped under my finger. I do this three times; I am allowed to sneak an extra puff in because I am with my friend.

I pass it back to Jaleesa and the corners of my eyes get really blurry and then sharper than ever.  

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