by Destine Carrington
I’m always concerned when I go into Walmart
and I pick up a Great Value item.
Like the people can see
the poverty coming off me in waves.
They now know that I can only spend
at most 1.28 on one gallon of milk.
Maybe if I put in two gallons
it will cancel out the fact that I’m poor
except now they’ll think I need
this milk to feed my four kids.
I can’t win.
Maybe I’ll buy a half gallon.
They’ll know it’s just me.
But wait then again
that might make it look like I’m failing socially
and have no friends.
So I grab a quart of the most
expensive milk I can find
and I throw it in my cart so
people know that I’m well-off,
alone but not lonely.
I’m a college student, off to a great start.
On my way to check out
I pass a lady with pearls.
In her cart is a box of
Great Value cereal.
The X-Men Walk You Home
As you leave
duck under arms and side step
sweaty bodies until
you smell cigar smoke.
Wolverine’s adamantium claws
glint in the street lights.
You no longer have trouble
being stuck in the crowd.
A whistle comes from a red Ford pickup.
Boys yell from the windows
"Hey baby, let me get with you tonight."
"Hey honey, you have a nice rack.”
They call it a compliment.
Magneto manipulates the metal and
the pickup breaks into three pieces
flings itself fifty feet backward.
You make yourself
as small as possible,
hold your head down to your chest,
keep your hands balled up tight
and stick close to the walls.
You feel Kitty Pryde grab your arm through the wall.
You instinctually panic, but melt
into the warm apartment.
Your lover is drunk, you say no.
Yet you still end up on your back.
You watch as Rogue’s hand emerges
next to his flushed, clenched face.
Stare at the clock on the wall, until his lips are pale blue.
He slides to the floor.
Free to wear what you like,
you walk down the street with a relaxed spine,
because the X-Men walk you home.
Destine Carrington is a queer, black woman with a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington because she enjoys challenges. Other things she enjoys include but are not limited to: burgers, brownies, and Batman.