Published on May 5th, 2017 | by Juniper Fitzgerald


On Being Nice, On Being Blue

Time moves through skin, makes wrinkles and waves. Where there is


there is the removal of entire parts,

the removal of Womb like House

What is the meaning of anguish?

Time is traumatic; I am mourning its loss, always.


I am with girlfriend, naked, queer porn, vibrators, openmouths

blow jobs between women

are a thing.

When Dad calls.

Another death or dearth of something a lacking or a burning or a morning. I mark my love on

flesh; three parts for each suicide since the election.

Anomie, alienation. Homo Faber is Human The Barely Alive.


I say, at the dog park,

Boy how about that whole mortality thing huh?

The Doberman and the Labradoodle

they paw at their social media profiles.


They bark with teeth snarling, fangs

I want to hold Child

but the rest of your parts will fall out in pieces, they say.        Because I am not nice, you say. “Mama is not nice!” you say.


I am not nice.


(If I ever lose you, I will walk out the door and I will start running; I will run until my breath floods out of me for good, for keeps, for always).


Compulsive ideations, fetishes with time, the solitary sacrifice of numbness, of never again having to torture one’s self with the possibility

that it’s all impermanent.


Your body in the patina of Belly, now toxic; generations, swaddled in sea,

bye bye, you say.

Body cannot bear


It cannot hold on to sadness

bye, bye, it says,          parts pulled out by Robot.


a sea of grief is not a proscenium, a man who wails is not a dancing bear


Papa bake birthday cake for Baby

in the shape of Uterus

replace the stuff of body with the stuff of sugar

cut disease out with cookie cutter

throw away unused parts or feed it to the dogs for all I care.

Three candles on a pink cake– or perhaps it is three hundred or three million, who knows– you have only pink things: pink pants, pink shirts, pink tutus, pink shoes. I tell you, pink is powerful. I say,

Not everyone has a pink pussy. I tell you the names of body parts.


You are thoughtful, raw, fragile.


You ask to play but I always say

Hang on hang on hang on

In the basement of House ghosts make stew in housedresses timeworn soiled wallpaper the ends curl all up

feral children there

knives in little hands


pages of an unfinished manuscript


the concrete uproots and there are blossoms

in the spaces of didacticism and profanity

and there is Child there.

And Child is blue and blue is




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About the Author

Juniper Fitzgerald is a mother, former sex worker, and academic based in the Midwest. Her children’s book, How Mamas Love Their Babies, was published by Feminist Press in 2018 and was the first to feature a sex-working parent. She contributed to We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival and her memoir, Enjoy Me Among My Ruins, is out now. She holds a PhD in sociology.

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