sestina at reynold's

by Meg Eden

I WAS INVITED to a tea party.
I don't think God
built me for this. my legs
weren’t shaved. 3
D films or locked in a tea-
room? I went because it was family,
and you know how it is with family.
there is no declining parties.
we didn’t go because we wanted tea,
but for "quality time." God
has thrown me in a desert with women. Three
of my fears are: lace, tampons, and woman legs.
the slanted old floors give me sea legs;
I don’t understand why family
loves this. my grandmother told me (third
time’s the charm) I would love tea parties
when I was older, when God
gave me breasts. I made tea
from lollipops. Now, I like tea,
but I do not like sitting with crossed legs,
talking, and dresses. I am not the jacklyn smith god-
ess, with designer children and a family
in a 2.5 million dollar house, hosting parties,
yet I'm trapped with them for the next three
hours. there are three
people in the restaurant besides us, no t-
shirts. our waitress hasn’t come back. our party
might not leave her a tip. my legs
itch and I scratch under my skirt. if my family
saw, they would gasp. God
forbid! God
save!  they say that three
is company, but I don't care about their kitchens,
or families' baby darlings. I will never eat tea-
cakes because they don’t fill me; they've got no legs
or balls or sense. I am a woman! I am hungry! parties
are poppycock. When I get home, I dump my tea
out the window, break my pearl necklace, stick out my legs
to tan, and it is the last time Meg is invited to a tea party.

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