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When I worked at Fry’s my coworker said Suge Knight liked her hairy legs & I don’t know how
true it was but she said he bought the diamond necklace she wore every day & this was the year Tupac died
& I drove my Oldsmo with the lights on in the daytime she & I were both 19 & had to wear skirt suits or
slacks in our department we sold CD players & handheld recorders & tried to get people to buy warranties
& she could talk those customers into buying almost anything & she tried to help me think beyond thrifting
& Wet Seal & told me about Girbaud jeans & Gucci bags & she really loved her small Chanel I don’t
remember her name but I remember a dude who worked in the AV section who kept trying to add me on
LinkedIn 20 years after the fact like for real nope & I won’t say if my coworker got hurt but she made a fact
out of fear & once I remember makeup over bruises the 1990s dangerous for women like any other decade
like now & the main thing about the guy trying to add me on LinkedIn is how close he stood to me
whenever I wore my mother’s baby blue v-neck button down because he was trying to look down the front
My sister met Hugh Hefner at a sushi bar called Geisha House in Hollywood he definitely had
on a purple crushed velvet jacket & my sister said he was surrounded by some “nasty-looking girls” & he
smooth came up with Hey honey & she made the untranslatable sound that is the Black people version of ew
& ugh is inadequate she was like what is he even looking at she had on a black crop top that was basically a
bra with spaghetti straps & macramé & hip-length fringe covering her midriff & just wanted to get some
California rolls with her white friends so they kept on walking
* * *
Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On, published by YesYes Books in March 2017. Her verse play, Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015), won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers. The Relationship theater company staged a full production in December 2015 in New York City. Individual poems and prose appear in Fence, Tin House, jubilat, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Fire & Ink: A Social Action Anthology, The Force of What’s Possible, and widely elsewhere. She teaches in the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University. Visit her website khadijahqueen.com.
Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at email@example.com.