QUEEN OF THE LITTLE STINKERS
I am Queen of the Little Stinkers.
Cross me. I dare you.
I cry into the black roses.
I cry into the black wig.
I cry into the Gulf of Siam.
I do not have a child
but if I did I would feed it
to the wolves.
I have made myself notorious
for wasting time.
Life is so much
like a tiny nun
in a giant habit.
I mean a tiny man
in a giant hat
who seems to bother everybody.
This poem is a childhood.
There are no fathers in it.
There are animals that talk
and animals that don’t.
I am a dog
that runs into the street.
My mother calls after it.
I am eight. I am a mushroom
cloud of terror. Watch me destroy
Mother’s glass dog collection. Beware
of maggots in my bed. I hurled
rose quartz at my puppie wuppie.
Broke the bust of Washington’s head.
My misery is a parent.
She tells me the future. One day
I am going to die. I am
eight. I am a bad dream. I am the Bride
of Pee Wee Herman. I have the house
all to myself. Fear me. I’m eight.
I’m the fun cousin. I tell stories.
Don’t copy me. Don’t tell me
what happiness is. I know what I deserve.
When I was a little girl
I was a real brat/stink.
I excluded people with short hair
from jump rope
told them that if they still sucked
their mother’s boobies
and cried themselves to sleep at night
then they couldn’t be my friends.
My mother liked me. My father
didn’t (haha!) My father
was also a real brat/stink.
When I was born, he wanted
to ditch me and run away to Thailand
and so he did (haha!)
When I was a little girl
I was a real screamer/nag.
In pre-school, a boy
was playing checkers. I said
“Stop playing checkers
the wrong way, Robert.”
He punched me in the nose (haha!) I deserved it.
I was also terrified of the Sandman.
To get me to bed, my mother
told me that the song “Mr. Sandman” summoned him
so she would sing it at me.
and the thought of him
and his gold body
I thought he had a gold body
standing over my bed
made me never want to open my eyes again.
I didn’t like to be looked at.
I guess I wasn’t used to male attention (haha!) back then.
I would hide until I fell asleep.
It worked every time, but he never came.
Neither did my dad (haha!) but then
I met him in The Greater Binghamton Airport!
The Greater Binghamton airport is a great place
to meet your dad for the first time!
It has a 3.5 star rating on
Yelp! It is the scariest airport
that Danae B. from Cincinnati, Ohio
has ever been to!
Because of the “foggy weather
with the rain/snow mix.”
When I first met my father
I knew it had to be him
because I thought it had to be me.
We looked the same! Weird!
He asked if I had a boyfriend
what my favorite color was
told me there must be one hundred
little hims running around Thailand.
I became really close
to jumping on top of the baggage claim
and causing a big scene.
He apologized, turned to me, said
“Why I am doing this now,
why I didn’t reach out to you
a year ago, or two”
he paused and then said
“or seventeen, I don’t know.”
I laughed at that part (haha!)
But he wanted to give me
$1,000, visit me in L.A.
and teach me how to drive a car.
But he never came to see me.
My father has never seen me.
His eyes are sealed shut.
Izzy Casey is originally from Los Angeles, California. She is receiving her MFA from the University of Iowa. Twitter: @uglylibrarian
Art by Mary Alice Stewart.