“Girls Named ‘Nicole’ Are Always The Biggest Cunts”

Your last name
(Orth, Green, I guess you’re a Strom, now?)
Changes, but your eyes,
Brown and beady,
Still belie the
Casual cruelty
Of seventh grade.

I wonder if you’ve grown out of all of that.
I wonder if I’m just reading malice
Into your stiff smile-grimace
In each carefully cultivated
Facebook profile picture you post.
(No unflattering double chins
In tagged party pictures for you.)

You don’t post much,
Or comment at all,
Just when a milestone
Like marriage
Enables an effortlessly cool excerpt
That I’d bet money you labored over
With the same painstaking care
You put into learning
How to apply eyeliner
As an awkward teenager.
You’re not unattractive, now,
Though it makes me feel
Some way or another
To speculate about the possibility
Of those aged lines on your face
Being the product of
‘Meth mouth.’
It’s below me, and I’m sorry
(I guess),
But I’m also kind of glad that
You look prematurely forty.

I wonder if, every so often,
You think about your mom
Bragging to your middle school friends
That she had a
25-inch waist.
(I do.)
I know you were a chubby child,
And I wonder whether your adult body
Came with a price,
But I also smile meanly at your
Artificial bemusement
Regarding the baby book
You’re holding
In one of your
Strategic selfies,
Propped open,
To a random page,
Balanced fakely on your fingertips
In the middle of Barnes & Noble’s
Because you’re a fake,
Basic bitch
Whose head now looks almost
Too big for her body
(You’re not that far along yet),
But congratulations,
I guess.

I wonder if your child
Will grow up to be
A bully, too.
I wonder if your husband is
As placidly ‘happy’ in your marriage
As he seems in those
Strategically spaced-out snapshots
In semi-exotic locales.
I wonder if you geninely enjoy life, now
(As a military wife? I know that it
Runs in the family;
I wonder if your husband
And your brother
Agree that immigrants are
Sub-human garbage,
But hey,
Enjoy taking that snapshot
Together in Nepal,
I guess.)
I wonder if maybe
You put your best,
Frozen face forward
Because that’s the only thing that
Resonated with you as a
Chubby child,
And now it’s a
Second skin,
And you’re not sure
You know how
To take it off
And let yourself
Breathe.
I wonder if your younger,
Blonder,
Smilier sister
Is still prettier than you,
Or if your finally having a child
Is mostly to catch up
To her and her three
(And counting!)
Offspring.

I wonder if my name
Stirs up bittersweet memories
For you, too,
Or if you just
Smirk-smile
The way you probably did
When you told the neighbor girl
What to type on the computer about me,
Someone she had never met
But was told how to hate
That was apparently so bad that
She got in trouble with her dad
Over it.
I wonder if you know,
Care,
Love,
Hate,
Remember how much
Misery
You caused, if you’re
Miserable, now,
Or were back then,
And if that matters.
I want to wish you well,
But also, well,
You wish.
(So seventh grade!)
What-ev-er.

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