“Powerful” © Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier


Witness the Chaos of Little Punk Rock

my lord, the most gracious, the most merciful, sire, I, former idol-worshipper, shackle Me [the Self] to there is no God but one God.

I, want to be a pirate. I, spicy Jack Sparrow, chunky, buttery, beaded braids, foul raw onion breath, crocodile coal skin. Him, shirt mangled with purpose to peek a hairy, Male chest and puffy sleeves, ruffle steampunk gothic shirt. Me, caved into hairy Male chest, with tight, pipe stem corset, Arabic eyeliner, red, butterscotch crème lipstick, fitted eight-pack abs. Ay, I the chaos. You and I met. You raved about horoscopes like the first girl you’ve never snatched. Scorpio and Aquarius, the moon was a waning gibbous on the separate mornings you and I were born (you pleaded later that this is why we were born to suck each other in every way). You were blue every Wednesday as per your horoscope and texted me free tumblr Mahatma Gandhi life advice and I’m so happy today! [heart eye emoji, classic smiley emoji] every Friday. I thought it stupid but I tolerated you and exhibited bunny teeth to you in hopes of a cute friendship, I was so lonely.

Imagine this: I, the hot pirate, flowing on the bowsprit of a ship, the fumes of salt and sea suffocating everything, thick hair splashing behind me. As a freshman in piratehood, my fat tummy (stubborn lower belly fat) will twist in irritation and finally melt away when I spend mornings plunging into the anatomy of an immortal skeleton or Mr. Davy Jones and señor Flying Dutchman. I can savour the pain of the sword stab, the chopped hand now a stump in a hook, for the drunkenness of adrenaline, the high of using my body. You can’t possibly fancy this until you tumble off the couch; put the Calc AB homework down, feel
your legs and arms at their natural work, electricity, succumb to it, you are alive, breathing, in, out, in, out, in, out, know that you don’t need to fight a drowning in a swimming pool to feel your full body in action. I, want to be a pirate so bad. You love suburbia. The repetition of roofs, the standard playground, ShopRite, Walmart. I cannot criticize what you want for yourself but I want to rip the integrals and derivatives from you, plunge you into the Pacific on a brigantine. Don’t you want Marco Polo, Nathan Drake, adventure, bro?

Ladies, the invisible aurora of Males, visible only to young ladies, hear about it from the choker-loving punk rock e-girl who loves older Males but won’t let an old boy know that she into Males under the light of God. Confession: I harass pillows with street-fight punches and squeal at the pronunciation of love in Bollywood romance movies. Confession: I whisper french film, french film, french film every Saturday night. Confession: I lied to you when I said romance just isn’t my vibe. You are so kind. Once gave charity to the loner at lunch. Remembered the loner’s birthday. Picked up that mate’s pencil when he dropped it. Never back-bit, front-bit, left-bit, right-bit, bottom-bit, karate-chop-bit, nothing-bit. Helped the pauper at chemistry, hard stoichiometry calculations for no bribe. Waited for me by 7-Eleven till six worried that some local mafia has kidnapped me [poor Snow White] that day I had robotics tryouts and forgot to inform yourself to walk without me. You are some kind of exotic. Besides the open acceptance of your being a submissive Male and the lustful dedication to anime and sappy, cheesy rom coms, you are nice to talk to. You are saturated in the light of God. Good men are for good women. You are good man. But

                    I have a fetish for blue eyes and spaghetti noodle white boys with some ab muscle. I
                    bite into moist brownies thinking that this is not the only thing I will bite in this way.
                    My type of bad boy, white boys: a few years older, summer-wind red-necked, full at
                    the shoulders, tall, blue-eyed, blonde-haired (though hazel-eyed and brown-haired
                    usually also suffices), the American boys that stir in the metaphors of Taylor Swift,
                    Yankee baseball statheads and jocks. The white boys who I (fingers crossed)
                    bewitched into spending their Friday evenings lying in the trampolines of their
                    backyards, blowing blueberries in the seductive thought of the brown Asian girl at

                    Scene: My white older Male boy neighbor accidentally threw a football at me from
                    across the street. I rolled into bushes and pretended that I had been tragically killed,
                    but he didn’t see my body sack when he snuck between the pickets of the fence and
                    hauled away the football. How do I tell the hot white varsity baseball boy that I am

                    Scene: Jimmy Smith IV’s 90’s Diner. Me sitting there with scandalous shoulders next
                    to a bubble machine and jukebox, yellow tinted retro glasses, smelling like toffee,
                    white boy band sitting at bar. Won’t turn to look, the untouchables. This is to say that
                    my brain cannot be soaped into a good little lady. Say choking, banging, caressing and
                    I think of the private shame. Tragedy 101: poor me, be wildin’ on imagination, fantasy
                    romance pills in daydreams, yet can’t get a nice macho white Male fish because I
                    haven’t morphed into my final, true form of spicy Jack Sparrow on the Bay of Bengal
                    yet. Mami won’t let me breathe into character, old conservative.

And it is the fact that you, gentleman, good man, anime-kpop-fanatic, said that you liked me that made me hate you. You asked me to be the blue moon of your being, the lost beat to your alleged soul, and I thought where is William Turner, pronounce complete submission in sickness and death while slicing the gentleman cursed sailors, Mr. Darcy, remember that I fancy walking and that I am a floor dweller and walk towards me like a pauper man, Laurie, wear a square ring when you unbutton my apron and say that I am beautiful twice like you mean it sire. I banged a straw because you, who isn’t into kinks, and your suburbia cannot have me, moi who is going to be a little punk rock pirate with a blank belt in ninjutsu. How dare you try to marry me, sub-male, and then not comprehend that when a seductive pirate queen says no, she’s not being mean, old sport, you’re just not good enough, kind gentleman. I did what had to be done, like Nathan Drake, Jack Sparrow, Ethan Hunt, Ibn Saud, Gatsby’s George Wilson, Soap MacTavish, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Your mom and sister hate me anyway. You would have regretted my betrovenness to you the minute we got to your court. Besides, you have yellow teeth and you do not believe in God. Besides, I am submissive and I like older men. Besides, my Male is scouting rare catfish in Alaska to trade on the Chinese black market in a gang of mobsters. Call me eccentric, he will find me a pirate in the Tasman Sea one day and fall in love with my thick, buttery braids.

but does it not sting to lose you amigo,
                to an aborted oily, valentine fling romance,
                                does it not feel bubbly like a uranium bomb.
                                                yes, it does
                                it is
intangible you see. The intangible materialism that guides. I care about you are a good man after you are a good looker.

Earth, you are being mean. Mr. Darcy, you cannot rejoice in the inferiority of my circumstances. Laurie, you married my sister, why(!).

I feel oily when I sit and do homework for hours after school. No pirate needs hard stoichiometry calculations.

I know one thing also: I will not be my yaya or dadi or my babi or ammi because I will not forget my final form, my prophecy, my Lord: I am a god-fearing musliman in body. I will force myself to love punk rock, to talk with words like it is not just raining, it is plopping tears of fish baths, like my mama is not my mother but the creature that birthed me. Everything has to be weird to attract the mafia fishermen in China. Sire, to the white old boys who’ve never loved me yet: Bare me and rejoice that I am the stereotypical hopeless romantic. Flash judgement stimulant: When I scoop the laundry out of the dryer, I do so kneeling before the machine, oversized dadi’s company t-shirt hiked down to expose scandalous shoulders. I like feeling like daddy. The irony: I am shy and yet

I                stretch my                                 watermelon limbs and membranes across paper in writing.

And I will stretch myself the first time, or maybe the shyness will hijack me, who knows, I am only sure that I am internal chaos. I just need to feel the rush of oxygen consuming mi lungs and lick the watery taste of it for once. I will be G-Eazy, Halsey, Ashley, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, Zayn Malik and Gigi.

And to you, old amigo, good man, submissive, you are right about one thing: I am hypocritical little punk rock who hates you now because you were not hot enough to be the adventurous co-captain of pirate ship type.

So let’s end this. My ideal circumstances of death: My coffin caught in a whirlpool of a bowl of jellyfish, Jack Sparrow’s Male hands think they’ve got me, but I slip, a phantom knife eating my heart like hotcakes, a long descent to the raging whirlpool spinning below, a plop right into the mouth of a carnivorous blue whale, a final, emotional prayer to my lord for mercy at the front patio of hellfire, this is how I want to die.


Zoha Arif will graduate from the Academy for Information Technology in the spring of 2021. She lives in the lands of Union, New Jersey and melts away her free time breathing peanut butter, eating books, and drowning in questionable food science experiments. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming in Polyphony Lit, the Blue Marble Review, Parallax Literary, and others.

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier is a Stittsville based, Indigenous visual artists, writer and photographer. As an internationally published artist, she cuts her teeth creating works for the best literary journals, anthologies and literary publications in print and online. Recently her images were in Art in the Time of Covid-19, hitting Amazon’s #1 new release in poetry for 2020.