Have it your way
Let’s say I’m turned on by the ball pit. At Burger King,
we call it Play Palace. This the type of memory that shivers
tinsel when touched. I am encased, in a glistening globe of soft-boiled plastic. Dewed sweat dripping like flies. Behind me,
the nervous twitch of netting. Before me, a slide. The pit. The children shrieking at the balls. The parents.
I am safe in my perch. Poised for a sensual descent. I must
permit myself this pleasure. I’ve had a hard day being a child.
The pit. The parents. I watch them watching. Children from
the waste up. There is something to this. A strategy, yes. For all
I know, their genitals are plastic, smooth like baby doll. Like
the balls glittered in spit. Bleach-fume oblivion, a hot breath
out the mouth of the slide, beckoning. I take a last look
through the porthole. The chaos of children who snuck fries
into the pit. Greased pagans slinging spheres of primary color.
Creation. It’s Christmas Eve.
To me, the other children are also some sort of Jew-ish. To me,
Jew-ish means something uninteresting and elsewhere.
Who else would be here, on this day, in this
shimmer of moment, between things. My people. The palace.
The parents are the Christians and their crotches. Curious
that there is something rather than nothing. That all of these
children were made for what. For their upper halves. Their
mouths. For what goes in them. In.
Are they really having it their way. For these are the sites in which we are taught choice. And so I slide.
Friction tickles out a suggestion of body hair. Pursuing my fullest pleasure, I lick the plastic interior. My tongue
crackles, bubble wrap. I’m safe. Swallowed. Forget form. The
words I’m held to. The prismatic light growing, an arachnid
forcefield spindling into my groin. I land. The sticky pit slow,
infuse me into its sugar-sweat and oils. Pleasure when I feel
nothing. Void is sensation. I want to slip a ball into my panties.
So I do. Have it my way. The smooth fupa of a Ken doll. Or
fuck it, why not Barbie, if I push in. Come on Barbie, let’s go
party. Pop. Pleasure. My momentary shiver cut short by shouts.
Children’s shouts. Then the parents. Because it’s me. And so
I am told to split, meaning, to go elsewhere. To get out. Out.
Jayson Keery is a writer, editor, and arts coordinator in Western Massachusetts, where they completed their MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They are the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Choice is Real (Metatron Press, 2023) and the chapbook Astroturf (o•blēk editions, edited by Peter Gizzi, 2022). Their work is published and forthcoming in Mundus Press, Hot Pink, Boulevard, Black Warrior Review, Overheard, The New Guard, b l u s h lit, Peach Mag, and others. They have been anthologized in Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics and Pilot Press London's A Queer Anthology of Rage. They are the recipient of the 2022 Metatron Press Prize for Rising Authors, selected by Fariha Róisín, and the 2021 Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship, selected by Wendy Xu. A complete list of publications, awards, and interviews live online at JaysonKeery.com.
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