Candy-Striped and Candy-Stripped at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, During the Summer of Your 16th Year

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Candy Stripers
spells a little too much like Candy Strippers.
A uniform’s a uniform’s a uniform,
and you are a peppermint-wrapped-paper sweet.
When the male nurse hugs you, you feel both striped and stripped under his stethoscope-hands,
that were supposed to give a kind of care,
that are suggesting a kind of caress, instead.

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, Ms native. She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a BA in English, and Mississippi University for Women with an MFA in Creative Writing. Exodus has been published or has forthcoming work with Electric Lit, Hobart, Booth, Barren Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Chicken Soup for The Soul, Louisiana Literature, F(r)iction and more. She has been nominated for Best of The Net, Best MicroFiction and a Pushcart Prize. Her piece “It’s 5am-ish, And My Father Tells Me A Story From His Time in Singapore” will be included in the anthology Best MicroFiction 2021. She has a healthy adoration for the color green.