Blaize Dicus is a graduate student at the University of Central Oklahoma. His thesis questions genre by melding prose and poetry to tell one narrative that explores the influence of internal and external forces on identity.
She loves A$AP Rocky. She listens to every word her mother tells her. She cuts her curls short. She hears, You look like a boy now. She doesn’t care what her father says. She cries alone, in her Pottery Barn comforter. She cries with him, under a flea-infested Walmart fleece. She makes coffee for the pinstriped-crew-cut. She finishes her Psychology for Adults homework at two a.m. She orders herself a new sofa. She never sits on it. She just wanted to prove she really was Jennifer Garner with that stupid wishing-dollhouse. She makes a vanilla bean, two pumps caramel, three shots of expresso, no water safety-net for the nineteen year old nursing student. She never sees her again. She calls her brother, her expert, to ask if she should apply for other part-time jobs. She hangs her Associate’s degree on a nail she beat into the wall with her seventeen year old temper. She feels our dad’s boots on the hardwood floor. She waits until they stomp concrete. She knows he won’t tell her goodnight. She knows what he does in his man cave. She feels he’s gone. She feels safe. You can be anything you want unless the government tells you that you can’t. She doesn’t know what to do with her grandmother’s tits. She thanks the boys. She doesn’t get another job. She rolls her eyes while making a chai. She pauses to look—buzzed neck, pearl earrings, and a painted-purple lip. She wonders if she felt like her, too.