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  November 2006
volume 4 number 4
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zoey brown
November 2006



photo by tess. lotta

    zoey brown graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Creative Writing.
    She lives in Miami with her husband, a dog, and 3 cats. zoey's work has appeared in Poetry Motel and The Red Wheelbarrow.



School Days

    Sitting cross-legged in front of their wall-sized T.V.; another cookie chewed furious, brown disks and cream masticated muddy; a swig of candy-acid soda burning his throat sugary; John was angry, like his mean working jaws. Last week “Pussy” on his locker, ink as permanent as their loathing. The office bitch wouldn’t give him another. She’s never been fat. Fat, ugly, and tired of the shoves, the snickers, or worse - the silence. Of spit-wads precise as arrows, of “kick my ass” on the back, of hated thunder thighs rubbing through halls, schwit schwit schwit, making them all laugh. Today, ‘they’ tripped his clown feet out from under him, his magnified glasses flying, his lunch tray sailing, his burgers whirling mid-air like alien saucers searching for somewhere safe to land. Lying face-flat, flushed, his arms outstretched like a sacrifice, the hyenas deafening around him, I hate you, he thought, not to them, but to himself. I hate you and wish you were dead.
    So, gonna start where it started. Jocks in shop class, with steroid-ed muscles and single-celled brains, all of the fuckers smelling of gel, sweat, and pot. First the ‘friend’ who dumped him into the cafeteria garbage can last year. They had Sloppy Joes for lunch that day. Shoot ‘friend’ in the face. Then, one by one, quick through their pristine high school, he’ll pick off the perfect, bam, bam, bam. Doesn’t matter who they are, none of them had heart. Except…maybe Becky, smart, pretty and kind since they were kids, and never changing. Gold cheerleading sweater growing buds in front, blond tail bouncing happily in back, and always a blue-eyed shy “Hi” for him, her smile his only light. She recognized his mind. Saw his soul. His parents did too, fed it full of books, distracted love, thick bread, and rich butter. But they were blind to everything else.

The rest, cruel and faceless, can go to hell. No one else specific, but save Slater’s office for last. Bald as an eagle, red-veined parrot nosed, and standing on bowed plucked ostrich legs, Slater was as compassionate as a vulture. Pathetic loser couldn’t teach, so taught gym to torture easy targets. When John threw up in class, nervous hotdog chunks steaming guilty on the basketball court, Slater called him “Vomit” for a week. Mister Slater, the castrator. Shoot off Slater’s dick.
    John grinned slow, and then myself, he thought, because he knew the rest, it was all a cliché, and he wanted no more of anything. Except this bag of Oreos with Double Stuff, this liter of Coke, and re-runs on the tube. It won’t be fun, but it’ll feel good. Thanks Uncle Ray, for your Bambi-killing rifle. Fucking murderer. His favorite show The Outer Limits started, and he settled himself down this-close to the screen. John’s smile spread, real and beautiful, his shiny white teeth smeared in chocolate, his apple green eyes sparkling happy.
    Tomorrow was his last day of school.

copyright 2006 zoey brown