Queen of Cups (Scrooge McCup)
The lowly peasants drank water from the palms of their hands,
There were no cups to drink from in all the kingdom,
except for one place, the chalice palace,
where the queen of cups guarded all
of the cups in the kingdom jealously.
The peasants went thirsty for ages, until they discovered
how to drink water by cupping their hands, meanwhile
the queen drank all matters of beverages easily she had
a cup for every one. The peasants lived their poor, dirty,
cupless lives while the queen sat up in her chalice palace,
that was in fact shaped like a chalice, and when she didn’t
sit on the goblet throne, she swam in a giant cup full of cups.
I do not want chipped pink nail polish
report cards crumbled, shoved to the bottom of my bag,
dry contacts on the bathroom sink.
I do not want black pants and tight jackets,
hair straightener burns
or calloused heels.
I do not want grandmother’s warning eyes as I
get up for a second helping of fried okra and green beans,
the laughter in the other room seeping in over the clink
of dishes in the sink,
the rich aroma of coffee at 5 a.m.
and the click of keyboards at midnight.
I do not want dad’s stomps coming home
makeup on the vanity of my
Worn notebooks and cherry red D’s escaping their pockets.
I want the breathing of my dog
on a Sunday morning, bacon polluting the air
a brother’s high-five,
sun-dresses simple, no make-up
a book in hand.
I want the lake, the sun.
The shape of hills alive with music
and softening lead that doesn’t write well
clocks that tick out hours and days
holes in paper that make
3-ring binders useful.
The shape of choir kids’ mouths
sounding out vowels for a frustrated teacher,
the neat curve of her hips as she dances,
the harvest moon, yellowed and full.
Raindrops before the splat.
It is the shape of a baby’s face
as it smiles, and the curl
of a fist on impact.
The red rubber ball that smacks
screaming dodgeballers, leaving a mark.
Shape of O’s and P’s and Q’s,
shape of the end of the bullet
that penetrates the round curve
of a soldier’s helmet on a hot day
in a nameless town.
The color of my favorite American Eagle jeans with
the distressed denim and super stretch.
The color of the kids tongue after attempting the tongue
tattoos from a fruit roll up, like the color of the
St. Bernard’s one eye and slobber from his mouth.
The color of losing oxygen with every minute spent
underwater. The color of her beaten flesh after
dinner when the pot roast was too dry and his day
was already feeling too lifeless
The color of jazz. The color of blues.
The color of never wanting to move on.
The color of the boy’s yo-yo that he would bounce
when waiting for his mom to deposit the monthly check
right before the large security man would give him
a lollipop because he knows that’s what makes the trip
I left something behind
in a time where a
girl’s self-esteem was being nicked
dissembled her only ebony brown
and honored the white horse.
All girls, at some point, have felt that
The sun shining over the shallow lake water
ice cold lemonade being served
an old geezer peeing in the lake
bees pollinating young daffodils
blonde hair flying in the wind
yellow marlins leaping out the water
children devouring nacho cheese
taxis bringing more to the lake
lemon juice drips on juicy meat from the grill
yellow water balloons explode as they hit their target
Central High School
Little Rock, AR
Dates of Visit: April 27 – 29, 2016
Faculty Sponsor: Sharolyn Taylor
Grade Level: 12
Appx. Number Students Served: 21
Visiting Writers: Emily Lerner, Molly Rector