by Tammy Smith
Words are potent place-setters. Verbs, like kissing, define improper actions. Adjectives loom more significant than the nouns they modify. Dangerous Daddies. Watch out for the dirty things people hide in scattered places. Possessions turn out to be possessives. Oh, the places you will go if you hold your breath long enough to hit return and hold down hard on the home key. Memorize all the shortcuts. To control is far worse than to delete so shift often. A characterization of grace is to fall out of love with default settings. Format margins for more room, and don’t forget to double space. Insert quotation marks when necessary and always use proper punctuation. Run-on sentences feel lazy. I love daddy, but when he holds me and squeezes me and puts me in weird positions, I forget to capitalize on all those indirect objects changing tenses. Missed periods become spotty question marks. The chapter ends with a contraction.
Tammy Smith is a writer of prose and poetry, a licensed social worker, and a devoted single mother. Her work is forthcoming in Ailment: Chronicles of Illness Narratives.