Jenny Perowski is Ahead of Me in the Grocery Store Line

By Julie Danho

Featured Art:  (Untitled–Flower Study) by Mary Vaux Walcott

If an Amish family can forgive the man who burned
their land, surely I can say hello to Jenny Perowski,
who used to call me “fattie fat” in seventh grade math
and had boys call my house, pretending to ask me out.
That was twenty years ago. Now Jenny, if not fat exactly,
is puffy as a slightly overstuffed chair. I’m thinner than her,
and my pleasure feels more whiskey than cream, makes me
want to pour out her Kors bag to rifle for candy, then slowly
eat it in front of her like she once did to me. I know
her cruelty was, at best, a misdemeanor. But anger
is like a peppermint in a pocketbook—everything inside
takes on its smell and taste. I could break it in my teeth,
make it disappear. Instead, I savor the mint, let the sugar
line my mouth like fur, linger far past what can be called
pleasure. How good it would be to be better than this.

Julie Danho’s first full-length poetry collection, Those Who Keep Arriving, won the 2018 Gerald Cable Book Award from Silverfish Review Press. Her chapbook, Six Portraits, received the 2013 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Award. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Pleiades, Alaska Quarterly Review, and New Ohio Review as well as featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. You can find her work at

Originally published in Issue 19.

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