to say i want to take a big glorious shit,

by Olivia Braley

the kind that stinks like shit & empties you. to say i can’t, for whatever reason, take this shit, but for days now have felt like i need to. i guess i’m constipated, this to say i hold things in for too long. i guess i haven’t been eating right, this to say i’ve been eating like shit & drinking too much beer, this to say i’ve been consuming like a man, to say my stomach can’t handle this kind of consuming. i guess somewhere in my guts i know i am in fact not a man. so i keep going to the bathroom to try & take this shit that isn’t happening, & my boss, this big man, but i guess the good christian type, asks where i keep going, & somewhere down in my backed up gurgling guts i know i am a girl, this to say i am not in a position to admit that i am taking a big fat shit or trying to. i guess that i am trying to look, in his eyes, like a girl. this all to say that though i’ve never read the bible, i guess that good christian girls, i mean the kind they write about in the bible, don’t take shits or at least not shit-stinking ones or at least don’t enjoy them. so like a good girl i tell my good christian boss i am sorry. i tell him i am having lady problems, & i say it like that, lady problems, & it wasn’t untrue, i guess, i have problems & i am, as my guts know somewhere, a lady, but i knew how he would take it. this to say i knew what would make him stop asking. so i watch this good christian man turn red like the devil he fears, the devil i know & maybe even love. so i, playing the good girl, watch as he goes red like all hell, all red like the girlblood that he fears like the devil. oh god, this poor christian man is trying to be so good, i mean he asks if i need to leave early, & of course, i don’t, but god, i have problems, after all, even if they aren’t lady problems, even if they are. so the devil smiles at me & i smile back like all good girls look at the things they maybe love. so i say yes i do thank you because i guess that is what a good gracious girl of any faith should do when a man that is, in this context, her god grants her some form of miracle. so i leave & on the walk home i go to cvs & buy laxatives. this to say i steal the laxatives but only because somewhere my guts remind me of my girliness. this to say i only steal the laxatives to save the crumpled bald man at the register from having to confront my girlhood & my clogged bowels & my impending glorious shit all at the same time. this to say i go out of my way to make men comfortable, & i am not the only girl, not the only woman who does this. but— i admit— i didn’t want to pay for them. this to say i am also selfish & cheap. so i am not a good girl of any faith after all. i guess i’ve always known this but pretend otherwise. so i walk home with my purse full of laxatives & my guts full of a nasty churning mix of knowledge & shit, & i take the laxatives & i wait for the shit to come. this to say i wait to be emptied. & yes, the shit comes, & yes it stinks like shit, & yes, finally, i am empty, & yes, of course, it is glorious.