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1 story 

by Karly Snajczuk

Karly Snajczuk (she/her) is a Buffalo-born writer, creative producer, and Capricorn currently based in Brooklyn. 

So Young And Already Rusted

The matriarchs gather around a touchscreen. These are my women and it’s my iPhone and it’s grandma’s dining room table. We watch viral videos of pimples being popped. It’s all puss and blood and cake and ice cream. We scream and squeal, our fingers digging into each others fleshy biceps.

How tender! to share a fetish. Some of me wonders which of us has ever felt release? Who has learned to exhale and who is waiting?

We’re still laughing at how gross we are when one of us clicks on “Pt. 2 Blackhead Extraction Like You’ve Never Seen” but we skip to the time mark 3:22 because bedtime is coming and who’s behind me in the driveway?

Me and mine, we’ve been taught not to spill. We hold our breath, we anticipate breakage. You can thrill us with potential by never booking the honeymoon.

Wait for it, wait for it. How long would you wait?

Suddenly, freedom! and it’s gushing out of a man’s freckled back like a cottage cheese ribbon emptying forever and ever (empty me, empty me)!

Oh my god, grandma gags.

There’s more and I like it.

We carry the children away from the pg13s but somehow even the preteen in our ranks knows to withhold her own pleasure. In the mirror she sees limits.

“Not around the dads!” baby cousin tells me when she refuses to wear her favorite Bruce Springsteen t-shirt, too tight now with a training bra.

So young and already rusted.

I don’t want her to have to know what I know.

By the way, it’s not enough for a mother to love you.

Somewhere, someone stronger than me screams into a microphone: Dancing in the dark is about fear! I’m sweating and I’m cystic and I’m alone in the mosh pit of all my mothers and no one wants to pop the zit on my back. I’m mud hands looking for more mud earth and they’re the drip down my spine.

By now, I’ve learned that the future is female ejaculation but I’m not sure any of us will live to see the day. Where does my deep sigh go when finally she's slipped her way out? Does she linger in the cold air, dead of night? Is she there in the foggy breath of our drunk men driving forklifts? Can she midwife the rest of them with loud enough warning?

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