I have become the pet of my night class,
sharing my favorite part of a dead aunt’s name claimed mine—
clad in a corduroy jumper, fluttering hands
struggle through the make friendly part of beginnings.
All older than me, the others coo in the
hard plastic seats making room for the tiny girl with too big
dimples…I am now Lynnhoneyhowareyou.
They take me with them on their 15-minute breaks
to the Nabisco and Coke-sponsored vending machines in the building
next door. Do you drive yet Lynnhoney? Get rides
from my momma on her way home to the city. How do you get
there when she doesn’t come? They hover, make
me nervous like all the parents in the world suddenly turned their
overpowering rays of worry on me. Start sweating now.
Spend the night at my partner’s place sometimes. The Jew?
You mean the man who walks three blocks to carry my leather-bound bag
and my hand when I’m afraid to go there? Alone? I thought Jews
are more conservative about…that? You mean the lovely boy who
brushes my hair and thinks my voice is more important
then Plato and Shakespeare. I didn’t think that was serious? Just as serious
as the shea butter in his shower and my dent in his mattress.
Lynnhoney it’s just a little different, that’s all. Look at the girl
glancing off the windowpane. Look at the milky coffee skin. Smooth the edges and
kinky curls. Run my fingers against the smooth dark hair on my
tummy. See a mixed girl with a group of blond ghosts. I am different. You are
more beautiful than different, Lynnhoneydon’tworry, you are special.
The boys nod along to this apparent truth. The girls twist my curls and caress
my bright round cheeks.
I am more beautiful than different.
What happens when I am no longer beautiful, but just different?
Jaden Lynn is a biracial poet who finds writing to be her preferred escape from reality, along with an unhealthy obsession with Sour Patch Kids. She currently works as the editor-in-chief for a university literary magazine. She has been published in issues of Jigsaw, St. John Fisher’s Angles, and collections of Talented.