I am covering the brown paper of my Grade 8 math book with tiny stars but then someone drops on my desk a picture of a monkey saying it is me, which shames and bemuses, because bullies make baboon sounds; they don’t know their primates. Someone cut ransom note letters out of a magazine—an insult of witless vitriol—“you have zits”—as if it were a sin. Maybe I’m a baboon, but I am birthing brilliance, risking scars. You are imprisoned hoping for mono marriage where no one detects your meanness and how blow dried, shellacked, done you are.





Deirdre Maultsaid: I have been published in The Barcelona Review, Canadian Women’s Studies, Canthius, CV2, the Danforth Review, Other Voices, Pif, Prairie Fire, the Puritan, the Southern Cross Review, anthologies by Rippleeffect Press and others. My essay, “The sun knows what it does” appeared in the anthology Double Lives (McGill-Queens University Press). One of my creative essays won third place in a Prairie Fire (Canada) non-fiction contest. More information is available at deirdremaultsaid.com and @deirdmaultsaid.