Dear Queenie

by Ashley Hutson

50-Foot Queenie! 50-Foot Queenie! Oh how we sang her praises before fire. She couldn’t hear us. Fifty stilettos on 50 legs, 50 feet tall. She would undulate down an avenue, red foil lips drawn outside all natural lines. Those fake lashes moved air like jet engines. Every blink was a hurricane, shaping the sand, the rock cliffs. She filed her nails on mountains. An ozone layer we never knew rotted in an hairspray cirrus. Word was, don’t look up. Also, be afraid. Once, she squatted by a seashore and squeezed out fifty generations, all small and reeking health. Generations with two feet, with no feet, with two arms and two legs. Oh Queenie, forgive us our sin of forgetting. Gave birth to us all, knees spread, dripping sequins, her salty blood the sea.

Ashley Hutson’s work is featured or forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Calliope, The EEEL, The Lascaux Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Sharpsburg, MD, and is on the Web at