old lovely with kozyndan
“The Right To Bare Arms”
2009 graphite on paper
Story by Jessalyn Wakefield
I liked the smell the bullet made when it hit me. Smelled like it was supposed to. Like our pencils in school. We put them inside our backpacks and they rub against the fabric and when we touch the fabric it smears our fingers gray and shiny. My mama says they don’t make pencils out of lead anymore. What does she know.
My mama spent weeks beading my dress so I could have something nice to play in. I think it’s ugly. You can see the bad stitches and it’s too tight under my arms. My friend’s cowgirl dress is new from the store. I want it so bad I cry sometimes.
We’d learned about the Wild West in school so we knew how to play the game. She said Yippee-Kai-Yi-YAY I’m a cowgirl! After I fell down she took my axe and cut off my ears and peeled off my scalp and laughed. We couldn’t remember who was supposed to do the shooting and who did the scalping so she did both to make sure we did it right. There was dirt on the edge of the axe. Where the dirt touched my skull it itched. When I lay still she licked the drool off my face, cos she’s older than me.