“Union dues” by Julia at her desk

Thursday February 14, 2019
5 minutes
from a tax form

Never part of the heard
Never a shepherd either
This one time, took a dance class, a lot of pointing
And flexing
At the dance class
Underarm hair, visible, peculiar
Didn’t even want to take that class
Wanted jazz
Wanted something with more jump
Never thought about teasing
Thought about jazz
Thought everyone there wanted that
Maybe next year
Never took class again
Didn’t like competing

“The circle, not the line.” by Julia at Starbucks

Thursday June 30, 2016 at Starbucks
5 minutes
The Axeman
Shaun Cunningham

Kit eats her broccoli, raw, cold, all the tiny floret bits getting stuck in her teeth. It looks like she has braces: one green bit in every single one. She waits for Adam to get off the bus at a bus stop that has frequent buses. Each bus thinks she is waiting to go on and so they wait for her, but Kit just keeps eating her raw broccoli even when it starts to rain and even when she gets yelled at by a driver for wasting his time. Kit is waiting for Adam so she can show him around the city. She sent him a map and a circle around this particular bus stop to ensure that he would find it with utmost ease. Kit pulls out her identical copy of the map and draws in a line (right beside the meet up spot) and jots a note: rude, to avoid in future.

“Hands me a shovel” by Julia at Starbucks

Wednesday June 29, 2016 at Starbucks
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer

Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says Whatchu Waiting For?
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Hands me a shovel and tells me I have to and if I won’t do then I won’t do anything else today, no eating, no running, no laying down, no reading. So I do because I want to do other things but I don’t want to dig. My arms are weak from all the lifting he made me do yesterday. He sits back and watches me work while he chews on a piece of straw and rocks back and forth saying, That’s Nice, and Good, and, Very Good. The last time I tried to run away he sent his dogs. So I don’t threaten to head to the fence anymore. He wants to keep me right where he can see me. I don’t want to dig but his face is sweaty and mean today. I have to. I have to.
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says I Like Watching You Drip
Says Thank You
Says I’ll Show You How Thankful I Am

“big red sneakers” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday February 6, 2013
5 minutes
Women of Manhattan
John Patrick Shanley

She was a meanie, Mrs. Appleton. She wore big red sneakers and I HATED THEM. Why would a woman her age wear sneakers for children and try to teach a classroom OF children? Obviously it was so she could “get on our level” but I saw right past it, yes I did. She was a loser. THERE. MRS. APPLETON WAS A LOSER. One of those ‘failure at life’ types. She tried, boy did she, but it wouldn’t win us over because we were smart. Such a meanie. Just one of those people who would give Donnie Kits a C just because she didn’t like that he was chewing gum during his history presentation. And once, when I was trying to be ARTISTIC, I ripped the edges of my pastel tree drawing so it would look like the EARTH, she completely made fun of me in front of the whole class and told us all that it was lazy and we should learn to use scissors like adults. I HATED HER THEN. And you’d be sitting there, just minding your own business, just working on multiplication tables, and really for the first time understanding the 9 times tables, when all of a sudden, squeak squeak. There she was behind you, Mrs. Appleton and her snarled up lip and her squeaky too young for her red sneakers. She’d make you feel like you were doing something wrong just by BREATHING on you. And her breath. Ugh! Even her breath was mean!

“they descended on him,” by Julia at R Squared

Monday, November 12, 2012 at R Squared
5 minutes
Pest Control
Bill Fitzhugh

“What a whiny baby Adil has.” I find myself saying out loud to Eliot as he fixes the clasp of my bracelet while it still sits on my wrist.
“Don’t be mean, Katie.”
“I’m not,” I say, “It’s just honest. He whines, he doesn’t just cry. It’s not very cute, that’s all I’m saying.”
“Don’t be mean.” He says to me again without looking up. “There. Your thing is fixed.”
I shake my wrist like a gypsy to test how strong the new clasp is. Eliot takes off his glasses and stands at the sink.
“Why do you do that?” I ask him, the water cutting out of the tap at first, turning into an even flow in seconds.
“Do what, Katie?” He asks, drying his now clean hands on the dish towel hanging from the stove.
“Why do you wash your hands like that every time you touch me.”
“I don’t.” Says Eliot, leaving the room now.
“You do, actually. It bothers me.”
“It’s not intentional,” he says,coming back into the kitchen.
“Well I don’t like it. Because it makes me feel like I’m dirty.”
“The metal is dirty, Katie, that’s all.”