Girl in Transit

Téa Mutonji

we talk about trauma in between
tasking dishes and beer orders:
last night, two little girls were shot in a park
whenever my ex-boyfriend touched me
I thought twice before showing affection
affection leads to obsession obsession leads to
crazy crazy leads to borderline borderline leads
to bipolar bipolar leads to what the guy before
the last would say every time I said, I love you
you hurt me— “there’s no pain in love, repeat after
me,” no pain in love love in pain, no
it’s been years now, he would say, “tell yourself
it didn’t happen and you’ll believe it
also, bend down for me, show me how good you
are at blowjobs.” I am good at other things too:
table number 242 has ordered two rolling rocks
one for himself and one for his brother
who he left behind a little girl who thinks goth is sexy
I offer him a tequila on the house—this house!
I’ve taken naps on the bar wood
have gotten naked in the staff room
have made love in the parking lot
(making love is what happens when
a cock slips inside a cunt and nobody knows why)
“a transaction,” Mother said
those two little girls are sisters
they will be taught how to perform
their mother will be charge by the hour
the littlest one is now twenty-seven years old
her boyfriend says “it’s all in the past now”
she hears the gunshot whenever the faucet runs
solution: she drinks her own saliva
another waitress comes up—her eyes are deep
like a toilet bowl, whenever she blinks
I hear it flush, “How are you?”
my ex-boyfriend was good at this—his head was so bald
I could crack an egg on it, at night
I’d count the hair follicle on his head
afraid to wake up and forget how I got here
solution? I never slept
there’s an empty mason jar on my bedside table
I keep it there in case I need the reminder
the waitress reminds me
they were just little girls.

Téa Mutonji is a Congolese-born writer currently living in Scarborough. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bad Nudes, The Temz Review, and Minola Review. Mutonji’s debut collection of short fiction will be the first title published under Vivek Shraya’s newest imprint, VS. Books, in association with Arsenal Pulp Press.

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