From what you tell of it, we both grew up like chubby Indian girls. My mom made spaghetti & enchiladas & avocados on toast. I would say we ate “American” food, but that’s not fair to any of us. When I say “us” I mean you & me & whoever we are or who wants to be sleeping with us. The people who really care. I’m somewhere reading your book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? & realizing my coming-of-age story is titled I’ve Run Out of Reasons to Love Me & the Vodka is Missing. In the afternoons I drive by In-‘N-Out Burger & make a U-turn to get a chocolate milkshake. Or a vanilla milkshake. It really doesn’t matter what kind of milkshake, you see this is where I’m at in life. My ass hates me & guys love my ass & I fear my ass & what it might accomplish on this French fry & milkshake diet. Sometimes it’s really late at night when I show up here & I’ve just had an anxiety attack & feel like I haven’t eaten in 15 days. No man will understand how I want to be hated & adored like, say, the Oakland Raiders & there’s no way in hell I’d go 15 days without eating. I park under a streetlight so the drive-thru attendant could see me getting carjacked & contemplate what you would say here. You’d say, Danielle, you should just keep being what you are & wearing really tight dresses. Or you’d say Damn girl you got some fries with that shake? & I’d say, Thanks Mindy, you’re probably right. Then we’d go shopping for Spankx together. On our way through the mall we’d shop the “economy bin” at LensCrafters & pick out matching eyeglasses. Now we look like badass nerds. Mindy, I can’t wait for our thirties—we’ll be total thugs. Right?
DANIELLE MITCHELL is one of ten poets featured in Pop Art: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry. She directs The Poetry Lab in Long Beach, California which builds community for writers through workshops, readings, and craft seminars. Her prose poems have appeared in Connotation Press, Cease, Cows, Four Chambers Press, & the East Jasmine Review. She has hosted poetry events across Southern California, most recently the Orange County Regional Youth Slam Event (OC RYSE) & is a guest writer for DIY MFA. Danielle is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers & the University of Redlands. She is currently completing work on a full length collection of prose poems. Visit her at poetryofdanielle.com.