about the author

Sarah Sorensen’s work has most recently appeared online in BlazeVOX and The Boiler Journal. She has work forthcoming from Paper Darts. Sarah holds an MA in English from Central Michigan University and is currently completing a second MA in Film Theory and Criticism. She is a frequent contributor in Popular Culture Association conferences, particularly in the subject categories of women’s studies, gender studies, and LGBT studies. Sarah resides in Michigan.

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Serving Time

Sarah Sorensen

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Raw edged and teenaged. Hot and cold and almost myself, but not yet. He slides it in me while I am bent over the counter reading Lolita. Humbert. Humbug. Hummer. Turn around. Hum Hum Hum Hum. And then it’s all done.

“You’re already too old,” he says, taps the line on my forehead. Fourteen.

Alarm clock goes off and back to school. Math homework, parabola blah blah. History. Learn about Nixon. Read Poe and go home again. Take in the backpack. Eat Ma’s dry chicken and taste nothing. Baked potato, no butter.

Walk out. His bed, his bed, his bed. Smell the sheets. Still smell like me. Wait. Read and read. Wait. Look in his drawers. Pictures of other girls. Bag of pot. Smell the sheets. He’s twenty-eight. Wait. Wait.

Walks in and gets me down on the couch. Does that thing, that licking tonguing thing and it works and I’m happy as daffodils. Big open yellow happiness, deep inside. Open my eyes and there is nothing to do. T is someplace else. TV is broken again.

Go home. Plaid shirt on plaid bedspread, washed fresh. Smell the bed. Smells like nothing. Go to sleep. Dream I am asleep. Dream I am at school. Dream of Ma and the laundry. Wake up too early. Call. Wake him up too early. Listen to him hang up the phone without saying hello. Touch it again, remember daffodils—feel it, then fade back away.


New Year’s Day. Resolution: thin as Linda. Throw up the potato. Rinse it out with a Miller. Get over there. Beat him home. Smell the sheets.

There and the smell is wrong. Somebodyelsesomebodyelsesomedayelse. Linda. Brought Linda here before and taped her. Taped me. Taped us. We got her drunk and I was drunk and I liked it. Pretty sharp pointed tits and big round ass. Waist like all she has is a spine. Told him that I wanted her and he got her for me. But then, he liked her too. Liked her too much. Wasn’t supposed to touch her and touched her all the time. Fucked her before I was done. And now she won’t talk to me anymore and only wants him. Calls him. Fucking light on the answering machine. Delete, delete, deleted. Linda. Pretty hair the color of beach sand in the autumn light. I wanted her and she wouldn’t even touch me. My round belly, my hair brown and oily as surburban store bought soil.

He walks in. And so does Linda. Not drunk Linda and no chance now. Vomit up the Miller without trying. Leave it on the rug and walk away. Go home.

New Year. Newyearnewyearnewyear. Care Bears on my underwear, bow on my bra. Take it all off in the woods and lay down under the big white moon. Frozen ground and it burns. It burns hotter than his cigarettes, hotter than Linda’s pussy. Tight, hot, frozen ground and burnt white flesh, like the moon’s earthly reflection.

New Year. New. Should have known and know now. Put the clothes back on and laugh, ragged raw and wolfish while my breath sparkles in the light. Fifteen tomorrow night. Too old. Line on my forehead, blankness in my heart and eyes.


Smell the sheets. Look in the drawers. New Year. New Year. Nothing is ever new, never knew enough, never new enough. Smell the sheets.

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