alice isn’t into flopping herself about. she isn’t into thumbing her gums against any man with muscles or a canadian dick. friday night is friday night. friday night is fucking hulu in the ass while kissing netflix. friday night is a cold cell phone warming up to a couch with a hard on. all the friction of the drooled on pillows, old blankets and trojan commercials. alice isn’t oh my god about ways to get her clitoris to the happy place. happy is a cold glass of chocolate milk, a bill not overdue and a white toilet without a brown ring.

tonight alice is in the mood of wanting. what she wants isn’t uttered in words or deeds. it is just an is and that is always how it was. tonight alice wants a short bath and a long margarita, a woman with long arms and a man with a short memory. and where does alice keep her keys. she cannot remember. the frothy haze of hangover closing in on her like the guy with an ax in all the scary movies. where is alice supposed to be? where is home?

home is not where alice keeps herself. home is not the snug and safe of cleaning products and cooking seasonings. home is not a cat nestled in a corner. alice cannot remember where her home is. it is definitely not in my heart. alice cannot remember why her hair smells of strawberries and vinegar. she cannot understand why there are socks on her feet and not strappy navy fuck me heels. home is a backwards flip in a jeep. maybe. she’s always had a thing for jeeps. a thing for boys who lean to the right or left. a thing for boys who puff cigars in their imaginations and make her feel wanted with a yellowing smile. if the music is loud enough to pass through speaker maybe he’s an artist. can an artist be a good man if the saturday car anthem is peppered with bitches and hoes? alice likes speakers. she likes the way the boom fights with the mmm. friction.

she’s always had a thing for jeeps. a thing for boys who lean to the right or left. a thing for boys who puff cigars in their imaginations and make her feel wanted with a yellowing smile.

today alice is marshmallow between what her grandmother thinks and what she knows herself to be true. alice’s grandmother slow sings happiness is just an illusion and sadness too. alice's grandmother says emotions are man made things kinda like fake grass and genetically engineered miniature pigs. alice doesn’t want a pig for a pet or to believe happiness isn’t real. she doesn’t want to believe that a smile is genetically engineered or that love can be concocted in a petri dish. if love can be made in a dish, make it lasagna or smothered chicken. make full of something so it’ll hold together.

alice has decided she doesn’t want to be a mother. she doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone else's crooked teeth or failures—there's no way i can take that shit. alice says she’d rather be a creepy lady living on the second floor of a swank condo. the kind that offers up books and condoms for halloween. the kind that plays beethoven after humping an antique couch all covered in wool.

alice is addicted to needles. if you ask her she will say she is not addicted to them. exactly. what she means is that she simply needs needles in lots of places. alice is also addicted to row sizers and stitch markers. of all the knitting addictions she is most fond of stitch markers. these fuckers tell you where you are and when it’s time to take action because knitting is a serious thing. alice paid 600 dollars for 6 classes to leave as an expert. what’s up my knittas???? this is who alice is. the kind of woman who doesn't mind touching her crotch with knitting needles. the kind of woman who will knit herself inside herself over and over again. the kind of woman who will knit a door for all her exposed parts and dare you to unravel them. alice didn’t make friends with anyone from the knitting group because well, she didn't have to make friends with anyone from the knitting group. truth is, alice enjoyed them all. how they seemed so devoted to the yarn. how the yarn passed through all of their slick fingers. how sometimes the cast on’s became cast offs. how some of the knitters knit for charity. i’m gonna give these socks to the homeless people at church. and this is when alice's personal bullshit alarm sounded because who in the fuck wants socks when they are homeless. give me some ham or something. damn.

alice woke up in a mood she couldn’t quite separate from nightmare on elm street & wonderland. her hands reconstructed figurines, one in meditation om & the other like deuces, or two dollar but not like peace. alice has decided apple vinegar does not clean as well as bleach but bleach does not smell as well as apple vinegar & because of this she spends a big cheese chunk of time having small pros & cons debates with herself. herself as the best debater on each team. if alice doesn’t use apple vinegar she will feel like a small mouse betraying its grandmother. alice decides perhaps cleaning can be done later. can be done tomorrow. can be done next week. can be done next year. it is not important. there is no buffer between an hour & 24 hours all the time one big nuclear membrane floating. if you ask alice if she is happy, she’ll ask you who is? she’ll smile & say happiness is a fluke like a baby born with a third eye or a prince turned into a frog. if you ask alice about betrayal she’ll tell you nothing. she’ll stare at you through shear curtains hanging from her eyes.

if you ask alice if she is happy, she’ll ask you who is? she’ll smile & say happiness is a fluke like a baby born with a third eye or a prince turned into a frog.

if you ask alice if she wants to adapt she’ll ask you if you mean adopt. she’ll say she has an aptitude for this & that, plus the other. she’ll tell you in italy she baked bread naked wearing only flour on her nipples & wine on her neck & nobody wants to hear an american girl cry the blues in a green plush background. & it’s true she could blend in with spaghetti on her face but if you ask alice if she changes she’ll ask you what else stays the same. she’ll tell you if want to see some not change, go to arizona. go where the sun never gets a break, where you can’t what the fuck between an animals carcass or an abuela femur. where sunbathed folks adopt hatred & even cats adapt slurs hissing at you inside your brown skin.

alice wonders if she is molting into a cannibal because she sits chewing her fingernails & slurping paper cuts. this chewing & slurping isn't the main meal of what she's pondering. am i a cannibal? it’s the fact that the song "don’t make me over" plays while she does this. it’s the fact that she’s been doing this for five days in a row. it’s the fact that there aren’t any more nails left to finger. alice decides she is not a cannibal because she does not crave her own fingernails. she isn’t purposely cutting her skin, instead alice thinks maybe she is becoming plop, plop, viz, viz all the things she knows about herself dissolving, all the fluffy glass is full or empty clear as sludge.

alice isn't about no woman don't cry because tears know no boundaries or borders or be still. creep down like a step mom in a prom dress & she's violent. alice is known to rip the head off any barbie that doesn't call her by name: vicious. alice cannot put her paws on the empty plate inside her wanting. cannot discern god from captain crunch on a hungry day: sweet. who doesn't want to tell barbie stop pretending like she's a vet & ice skater & ken's wife. alice will tell you barbie broke skippers heart in the camper. left it soggy next to panties & a pink bow tie & you know alice does not lie. you know alice watches her words like boiling pasta, like a kids first step. like halcyons burningout to sea.



Anastacia Tolbert’s work is a syrupy rune—wings, words & why not. She is a Cave Canem Fellow; Jack Straw Writer; Artist Trust EDGE Graduate; and Hedgebrook, VONA, and Ragdale Alumna; creative writing workshop facilitator; documentarian and playwright. She is writer, co-director, and co-producer of “GOTBREAST?” Documentary (2007), about women’s views regarding breast and body image. Lately she’s been obsessed with the body and the stories it holds. She is widely published.