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Mother Says

By Nicole Zimmerman

I’ll make you a little something to eat, just finish what’s on your plate and then brush your teeth, no, don’t lick your fingers, that’s obscene, use your napkin, please, would you stop picking your nose, and if you keep biting that lip it might peel right off, goddammit, get your feet off that chair, unless you want to pay for it, now why don’t you go get dressed, just holler when you’re ready, well, there’s no need to yell, I’m right here, why must you always torture me with that horrid sound, come on, suck in your stomach so we can pull these tights on, you know I don’t care for white stockings with black shoes, never did, nor white shoes in winter, unless it’s winter-white, of course, a beautiful ivory—in California it just looks stupid, like wearing velvet on a hot day; you have to be in Cleveland with the lights and snow—which reminds me, your father better dress appropriately, at least a blazer or jacket, and not those old tennis shoes, anyway, I’m sure the food will be divine, the hors d’oeuvres and wine and, oh dear, you forgot to put a slip under that dress!

Nicole R. Zimmerman is a queer Jewish writer whose work appears in Litro, Cagibi, Sonora Review, The Rumpus, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere.


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