"Sticks" as written by and Alix Olson....
“Welcome to the stick world,”
mama whispers to her newborn baby girl.
She admires the little toes, wriggling
like plump pink ballerinas,
caresses the round belly,
places her palm under the fat behind,
envelops the chunky thighs.
She strokes the tiny flat breasts.
the Baby girl sighs
and mama begins her stick world lesson,
hushed and intent:

“We stick baby boys’ lips on our nipples-
to relieve them,
stick big boys inside our lips-
to relieve them,
suck until we swallow their stickiness.
We tell our sons ‘only sticks and stones
will break their bones,’
then call each other bitch, knowing it sticks
more than hurled knuckles ever could.
We are ignored when our butts stick out,
admired when our chests stick out.
We chant ‘stick together, stick together’, until
size six bitch walks by-
‘sick’, we whisper, menacingly, to each other,
‘Stick’, we think, admiringly, to ourselves.

We smoke cancer sticks, chew on
spearmint sticks, chomp on
carrot sticks, celery sticks.
We crave stick-out collarbones, ribs-
When we cave in, stomachs sticking out,
we stick our fingers down our throats.
Fingernails caked underneath with years of
lipsticks, eyebrow sticks, sticks to cover up
red spots, white spots, black spots.
As we stick to the advice in magazines-
page one: waif, page two: ‘be you’, they croon
page three: ‘I like a good listener’,
writes Joe from Rochester.
So we smile and nod, sticky sweet.
And stick jewel after jewel in our ear, so we
swish and sway pleasantly when we turn our heads
to hear what they have to say.
We stick on eyelashes,
lower our eyes in their direction-
suggestive eyes, bedroom eyes, ‘she wanted it’ eyes.
So they stick it in, stick it out-
When we protest,
we are stuck up, a stick in the mud.

We stick our fingers when we sew up
our children’s ripped jeans,
our husbands’ ripped egos.
We pat stick-it notes on the fridge,
reminding our sons of baseball practice,
reminding our daughters to
stick to their diets.
We ooo and aahh over Suzy’s stick figure scene,
the last in a series of self-portraits.
And if we are the kind, honey,
who like to stick up into each other,
we stick out-- warped Eves.
And even with our combat boots we crumble like pick-up
sticks sometimes, away from each other, and crooked.”

Mama wipes her eyes, mascara marring
her Oil of Olay face.
She lifts her daughter’s mouth to her nipple,
rubs the padded back,
peers into the clear eyes-
so satisfied, belly full.
“‘I don’t want you sticking flowers
on my grave, baby girl,’”
mama says,
‘with the weight of the world
on your stick shoulders.
Crying,
and not ever knowing why.’”


Lyrics submitted by Menstruation

Sticks song meanings
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