• helen of troy cranks the volume on “like a prayer” in the ballet studio parking lot

    Maria Zoccola

    Fall 2023

    listen, madonna, he’s worth it like a box of hot krispy kremes is worth it, six glazed cavity grenades pounded in the eight minutes it takes the kid to finish gabbing with her dance-class kill squad and sling her way into my passenger seat and no she won’t take a jam-filled anything because her plié overlord says it’s time to lose the babyfat, babygirl, so that’s the rest of the box forsworn to the back bench while i sticky-finger steer my way home unzipping my attention between the road tonight’s dinner my ingrown toenail gas prices at the texaco how many weeks it’s been since my last period and the monosyllabic gossip from the kid on lila elise’s mama who drank too much and had to go to a special home in nashville so when i park and go inside

    Maria Zoccola is the author of Helen of Troy, 1993 (Scribner 2025). She has writing degrees from Emory University and Falmouth University. Her work has previously appeared in Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, the Iowa Review, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She lives in Memphis.

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