snooze button
by t. zoEy benally

i thought i felt the credits roll
when i fell asleep last night
music slowly fade to thin trickle
watered down syrup steam

i could see the white font
credits marching up the screen
their vinyl go-go boots
equipped with silencers

so it was a big surprise
when i sat up this morning
at 6:17AM, the same scrappy
old trailer surroundings

but i had the distinct impression
of fortune, found frog skins
dance along a crumbling precipice
that i had pushed the snooze button on death


an old dude made me mad today
by t. zoEy benally

an old dude made me mad today.
i haven't been this mad since i had the old dude sitting behind me
on the airplane that kept hitting and kicking the back of the seat.
so i turned around and smiled at that old man and asked him if there was a problem.
he never said what the problem was, but i think he was mad that i was leaning my seat back.
he didn't think that although the seat in front of me was leaned back,
and the seat in front of that was leaned back, and the seat in front of that...
he didn't think that i should be allowed to lean my seat back.
actually i think he thought i was an easy target.

the old dude that made me mad today probably thought i was an easy target also.
and i was an easy target because i was under the delusion that he was a friend,
and that is the reason that i got so mad,
but i'm not going to be making that mistake anymore.
you know a person has lost an argument when they resort to personal attacks.
you know a person has lost an argument when they start contradicting themselves.
these two things happened and it made me mad.
it made me mad how easily the insults and bad mouthing rolled off this person's tongue.
it's been a long time since this person has been my friend.
this person had already judged me and had already been
harboring feelings of superiority, and feelings of arrogance.
he was just another crotchety old dude kicking the back of my chair in the airplane.


by t. zoEy benally

the first guy asked me to prom the week that it was happening
but fortunately i was tiny and had my pick of the leftover smalls
a 75% off pale pink strapless covered with iridescent lace
my cousin was excited and filled her bath tub with bubbles
and roses, curled my eyelashes and feathered my hair
neither of us knew the exact formulation of gel, mousse
and hair spray that would be required to make it stick
she painted my face, tried to give the illusion to who knows who
that i wasn't really a dusty rez girl with old dancing shoes
he brought a corsage of three carnations, baby's breath
and a burgundy ribbon covering a lavender elastic band
14 year old me, until the moment he presented the corsage
in it's thin plastic case, worried about long pins poking
through flimsy material into skin

the second guy asked me several weeks in advanced
an upper classman who didn't know that i secretly hoped
his lab partner had asked me instead, and unfortunately
i later discovered that he could only declare his undying crush
on me under the cover of night and the influence of alcohol
so i bought a dress from a respected college girl and reformulated
it into something not quite vintage, but totally me
lavender lace and plum satin tiers, and a safety pin
because i hadn't quite mastered the art of alteration
he brought me white roses, bought me dinner--a girl of 15
totally out of place with seniors and juniors, our only
connection was biology class, but i wasn't out of place there
he wasn't a very good dancer, but tried to make it up
by finding a party, but i just fell asleep so he brought me home

the third guy latched onto me at a dance several months before
and wouldn't go away, so i finally just asked him to the prom
my mom hated his black trans-am, so i ended up
going with a girlfriend--i think he would have stood me up
anyway--but i ran into his mom coming home from work
and she said i was beautiful in the silver dress i had created,
i was still learning and didn't realize that i should have taken
a couple of inches off the waist, but she said i was beautiful
16 year old lovely even without a corsage...
and we danced, two girls, and then suddenly he was there
complete with another wrist corsage of red roses, silver ribbons
and we danced, danced until we didn't have a ride home

the fourth guy was my best friend, and my dress fit perfectly
constructed of white satin and black lace, he brought
unexpected blue carnations, white roses, baby's breath
and that totally appropriate elastic band, because, although
he didn't admit it until we were both in our late 20's,
he loved dancing with me

the only pictures that remain of those proms exist in my mind
i see us standing stiffly posed and i remember the spicy
carnation scent, honeyed baby's breath, slick satin ribbons
sticky grip of hairspray and mascara, i see the cheezy props
i remember sliding out of nice shoes after a night of dancing
i can feel scissor metal slice through taffeta, satin, lace and acetate
and i remember the music...