issue 12 FEATURE: SARA JUNE WOODS
DEAR HAIRLESS ALICE
Thank you for coming to my
uncomfortable party where everyone
was required to wear clothes
that don't fit. It was a beautiful night
& I don't think that the fact that
everyone left early, or that people
took turns spitting in my drink,
even when I poured it out &
got a new drink, they still kept
spitting in it, I don't think this
reflects at all on how in retrospect,
it went really well.
I really appreciated the dog you brought
& how she was pregnant with ghosts
who just slid out of her through
her skin & now they've slid into
mine. Which parts of this letter
are being written by them & which
by me is anyone's guess.
I guess what I am really trying to
say is I think the party was a good
party that just kind of had to be had.
It was something we all were going
to have to go through at some time
in our lives whether or not we liked it.
Hairless A, I don't personally blame
your hairlessness on anything I did,
which is a huge relief for me, honestly.
I mostly blame the sense of dread that
everyone seemed to have.
The incense I was burning at the time
did say DOOMED on the package
but I assumed it was German,
I assumed it meant something like
Good luck, may all of your friends
like you better than they do,
which apparently is enough to
come to a party you throw,
even one with a theme that doesn't
Alice without hair, does it bother
you that I mention so often your
hairlessness? Or have you learned
to accept it in the same way the
ghosts are teaching me to accept
my hauntedness? In the same way
we all felt let down at the party?
Especially after the floor collapsed?
Killing your dog? Making one more ghost?
The priest we brought in was the color
of beautiful candy, & I don't think
he was offended one bit when we
sat down with him & confessed
the things that are keeping all
people from really knowing each other.
From sharing all night about
the dreams we had no matter
how much they make us cry alone
in bathrooms at work.
Hairless, keep with me here,
because after you left & the
fire trucks arrived I got a sense
something might be wrong.
Is something wrong, or am
I just haunted? I mean I am
definitely haunted, but what
does that mean these days?
Anyway, thanks for hearing what
these things controlling me had
to say. I hope you're well & I hope
your dog's funeral goes better
than the priest & what he did
when the power went out.
All the best,
Sara June Woods is a writer and artist and author of three books, Sara or the Existence of Fire, Wolf Doctors, and the forthcoming Careful Mountain (2016). Her work is published or forthcoming in Washington Square, Puerto del Sol, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Columbia Poetry Review, and Guernica. She is a trans woman and a Scorpio and lives with her partner in an alley behind a drone store in Toronto.