dennison ty schultz is a queer cancer sun/cancer moon originally from Arkansas and currently an MFA candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Impossible Archetype and Foglister, and it has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. They tweet @clubdenni.
by dennison ty schultz
ENGLISH TO ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF SERVICE INDUSTRY SCRIPT
Hi. How are you doing today? Good. What can we get started for you? Any thing else? Sure. What size? Anything else? Sorry about that. No, no, it’s my bad. Sorry about that. We just ran out, is there some thing else we can get for you? Hi. How are you doing today? Great. What can we get started for you? Anything else? Any thing to eat? Did you want that warmed? If you could sign this for me. I really appreciate it. Enjoy. Hello. How are you doing today? Good. What can we get started for you? Anything else? Sure. Anything else? What size? Sorry about that. No, no, it’s my bad. No problem. We just ran out, is there some thing else we can get for you? Hi. How are you doing today? Great. What can we get started for you? Anything else? If you could sign this for me. I really appreciate it. You’re welcome. Anything to eat? Yeah, it’s so good. Did you want that warmed? Have a great day. Enjoy. I’ll grab that. Here. Enjoy. Thank you. Hello.
I’ll only like you if you tip. I’ll accept you blaming
a bad attitude on no coffee if you come back
after your coffee & apologize. Or if you tip
more. Your question, though repetitive,
isn’t stupid. I appreciate you trying to learn
my momentary language. I mean I love any name
that isn’t mine. If Carmen Sandiego beckons me to her
all-femme caravan of queer escape artists, I’m getting the fuck
out of here, the angry swan necks of my legs
honking & lashing, beaks en pointe.
The money from the safe will be stolen & I will steal it,
my Pluto in Scorpio in my second house swanning to erupt
shit. My satisfaction
knowing you can’t survive this
day without seeing a faggot handle your latte
smells like toast an atom before the knife
& its gentle spreading.
The sun, on the plane, spreading
across the seats, reminds me of The Sound of Music,
when flashlights sniff the bars in the church. I don’t want this.
The sun on the plane spreading across the seats speaks
to the sun’s right to our silly, dangerous planet.
To compare the sun to a Nazi is to play into fascist discourse,
in that white supremacist power becomes a victim
needing protection. An old factory,
renovated to house an ad agency & several obscure businesses
is a terrible omen, to say nothing of how any unsurprised
Walmart husk can be, unarguably, a cage.
A building is an easy thing, its haunt swift as a tongue
evicted from its mouth, or a color evicted to construct white,
or a child evicted from a parent. White people love tongues.
Taking them. Using them as retainers for our tongues, or
like a really cool phone case. Do you like my tongue? I can’t
tell you this, but an insect tapdanced
on the part of the countertop kissing your palm & policy
says I had to kill it so I did, there, at that moment. Before
that, in its previous factory, someone surely sobbed here.
The salt of a desperate sob will outlast even the cockroaches
when the apocalypse finally answers our spam
telemarketer ads. Last night—& the night before—&
in the afternoon relaxing before us—I put the tip
of my tongue in a wildly responsive asshole.
I wrote a new alphabet that requires
its elated puckering. It takes hours
to say love. On the other line, someone
should have already said hello.