Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Just a Girl

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Just a Girl

Article excerpt

Billie Jean

Her sister's water broke this morning and her Cymbalta's not working and she's soon to be homeless because those twin nephews are fast on their way but today her ex-lover's baby mother is going to be at the Flag Day parade and she's lost weight and fuck if she's not gonna look tight and fine so she spanks on the elastic of her best tube dress and props each pale leg on the sink for a quick dry shave and straps on her five-dollar sandals, the ones with rhinestones gleaming over clear plastic heels, and with three boys in tow and her sister's toddler in a stroller, she struts down the parade route past a tall Uncle Sam while men swear Goddamn! in the direction of her glorious and soft American ass. This is what I live for, she says, this is why I go outside, you shoulda saw the other day what I had on oh my god I swear to god I could not get down the block, and the spectating girls jiggle their babies and smack their lips talking this that and the third about her as her epic hollow hearts of gold bamboo swing low in each ear winking I LOVE YOU in silver script and when she turns to witness her ex's baby mother suck her teeth, the tattoo on her neck flexes the words JUST A GIRL like the Michael Jackson songShe's just a girl who claims that I am the one- and when she turns, the street lights up behind her with the shine of trumpets, cymbals crash and the dancing girls of Troy High throw their glittering foil hoops in the air. …

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