There’s a little purple space cadet,
folding a cease & desist into a fortuneteller.
She isn’t worried about the asteroid lightyears away
or the screaming crew she forgot to release
from timeout. According to her calculations,
she’s got nothing to go & get hot about.
She’s already marked her calendar:
millionaire husband, beach house, death
by lava lamp shattered on a stovetop.
She’s got better things to do:
paint her toenails into seashells
worth sucking clean, practice humanity.
She recites her favorite words: kitchen set, croquet,
spectacular. She loves exclaiming Not now!,
pouting like Rita Hayworth. She’s learning
what works on these humans, how want looks
in this foreign language. She knows everything
about polka dots, how much talking wrists can do.
She knows about the trick with biting ears
& buying affection. She nibbles on her fingers & daydreams
about roses wrapped in cellophane.
She wonders if her laugh sounds like bells,
what bonbons taste like,
if love is really necessary.
She wonders how much waiting she’s got left
until life surprises her with a checkered picnic
and constant sunshine. She’s got her Who me? face ready
& everything—mouth in a pretty O, teary-eye glitter.
She memorized the proverb Patience is a virtue,
but she’s still figuring out
abstract nouns. She can point at things,
decide what gets to be
spectacular. She plucks out her eye & turns it
towards herself, misses the meteors
hurtling towards her shuttle. Glass splits,
engine lights all lit up, & she finally understands
how to use Almost in a sentence.
Amanda Gaines is a PhD candidate in CNF at OSU’s creative writing program. She is the nonfiction editor of Into the Void. Her poetry and nonfiction are published or awaiting publication in The Oyez Review, Gravel, Typehouse, The Citron Review, Pithead Chapel, Yemassee, Redivider, and Ninth Letter.