BISEXUAL SNACK TIME
I guess I’m here again. Stomaching the streaks of bleach from past attempts
on this long stretch of laminate lunch top, looking for looks
if not love— but from who.
Well, I’ll tell you— from people who share my gender— and— people who
don’t. What an interesting potential. Apple
orange. Tangerine. What a wild polarity— me and them— somehow worth
noting. To be fruit-cupped in a pedestrian menagerie of sap.
I’ve been tense— ever since 2014 when a man sued Dole, panicked
to find preservatives, acid in his advertised as all-natural fruit. Man, that’s gotta
sting. As far as looks go,
it is true we stay young not forever but longer.
Which is why I’m here. Again at the table, with a new and engorged
lunch box. Do you like it. Bench slide from the stench of banana breath
and I’ll tell you we’re not friends.
Snack time— I’ve always hated this concept of time. Teacher,
don’t you tell me when to carrot. Don’t you tell me when I want
a measured treat. So tense
from the contents of a zip-locked asphyxiation. I want
to use the napkin I saved to wipe sweat from your
carefully cut choices. Me or them.
Ice breaker: Do you prefer certain genitals over others. And why. Why do you
think that is. Because I think
that’s what we’re talking about. After you copy the homework
that I copied first, so now
you want a taste. You want to share my snack, my time, and it’s fine. I blame
the overarching context of cafeteria.
The lunch lady who never asked to be named.
Jayson Keery is a writer, editor, and arts coordinator in Western Massachusetts, where they completed their MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They are the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Choice is Real (Metatron Press, 2023) and the chapbook Astroturf (o•blēk editions, edited by Peter Gizzi, 2022). Their work is published and forthcoming in Boulevard, Black Warrior Review, Overheard, The New Guard, b l u s h lit, Peach Mag, and others. They have been anthologized in Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics and Pilot Press London's A Queer Anthology of Rage. They are the recipient of the 2022 Metatron Press Prize for Rising Authors, selected by Fariha Róisín, and the 2021 Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship, selected by Wendy Xu. A complete list of publications, awards, and interviews live online at JaysonKeery.com.