Casino Non Grata – Nooks Krannie

surviving in a lake filled with grease and rats, public buses pressuring the blue in my veins to turn many a shade darker than the whitest tanned ankle in this north. i realize i’m alone with you under the june sun and the security guard is asking for my id. the heavy concrete is empty except for the wired lake that hides rich kids and their expensive weed that their moms’ plastic surgeon scored for them from a french dude, he slurs his speech and spits on underage boys if you call him a quebecois, you said, he doesn’t smoke so obviously he can’t have a french mother, i see lies splitting up like tobacco but i imagine the spitter thinking it’s a probiotic that has passed its expiry date. i’ve never met the non quebecois weed dealer but i sense insecurity stemming from inadequate drug use and unreal parents. i relate without wanting to.


the casino is now a mansion for unloved kings and queens forging alliances to fill skeletal caps and laughter to make up for their 9 to 5 grind on weekdays. my id is not good enough and therefore i’m not good enough. i don’t feel less than the allowed emptiness and i’m just as much capable of loud smiles without meaning but the guard is unconvinced, so i turn to you and ask for ice cream. as we make our way to the ice cream stand, my flip flops start to erode and the heels of my feet start to drag over the hot concrete, i think about saying something like, i’ll wait here, but i try instead. i get a chocolate cone and you get vanilla. i can never finish the chocolate, you say as i stare at you. the sun is now beating on our heads and i finish my cone in less than 3 minutes, you’re not halfway through yours before you throw it away.


we’re fighting outside the casino because my feet hurt. we’re fighting outside the casino because you expect me to save your name in my throat.


“fingers connecting metal magnets. insults forming one breath at a time, insults as a form of breathing. connecting whirlwinds, whirlpools of mud and kleenex / holding tight between holes / to the other side. rich kids as a form of savior / smoke / plants / lungs. leave me, i’m scared of water burning my skin / invite me to murder but i can’t kill fish.”


i didn’t say goodbye to you because i didn’t know you, i only liked you for that one time when you compared my being to your khaki shorts from urban outfitters. you don’t look back as you make your way to the bus stop, i look at your feet and they’re protected in air force one. my legs become immersed in smoke and steam. do you use spf 30 or 50?, a rich kid rubs my back, it’s okay to be happy in the beginning of summer, i touch her face so she doesn’t touch mine.


Nooks Krannie is a Palestinian/Persian female writer from Montreal, Canada. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, “I have hard feelings & I wish I could quit chocolate” (Moloko House Press, 2016) and “candied pussy” (Thistlemilk Press, 2017).