Back when I was a young man, and still quite malleable, the Queen took me under her wing. I remember how she taught me that if you’re making a playlist, you always put the longest song first—that way if you’re not in the mood to hear all ten minutes of Bela Lugosi’s Dead, you can just skip ahead to the second track for a listening experience free of further hand motions. This proved more important than you’d think, as the Queen was always rolling these needlessly large joints despite her six inch nails—grown naturally, of course, as the Queen was forever all natural—which she’d do one-handedly during our late night music sessions down at the palace’s greenhouse. Just behind the palace’s 15,000 gallon otter tank, smoking with the Queen always posed a compound threat, as her Majesty’s stash was like the hip kids at the nearby horse meat market always said, the “sticky-tastic dank-a-dank good shit.” After all, the Queen loved a good horse burger when she was stoned.
I remember once I was riding a horse with the Queen, clinging to her impeccably toned body, and I said, Wow, these royal crotchless pajamas smell really nice, and she was like, Thanks, that’s because I don’t use dirty dishwater for detergent like you do! And we both laughed heartily, and then I was hurt but didn’t care, as we’d just arrived at the underwater zoo that she’d reserved for our super-secret, seven-month anniversary. There, she led me down to the vacant otter exhibit, where she sat me in a chair, tied me up with her silk scarf, lit a joint in my mouth, and fucked me—it was the first time she didn’t pause to readjust her hair. Afterward, she said I was better than Macaulay Culkin, but was no Kate Blanchett.
Once I was trying to teach one of my friends about how their overwhelming paranoia was secretly destroying their life when the Queen’s undercover police burst through my bedroom door. They brought in this wooden mannequin dressed like the Queen, which one of the men controlled while Her Majesty’s voice was blasted at us from an oversized boom box. It was a terrifying way to learn that her favorite otter had contracted a type of paralysis most commonly found in macadamia nut spiders (named of course for their delectable crunch).
This one time, the Queen’s bitterest frenemy tried to interrupt her at this banquet in honor of the return of the nation’s favorite magical talking cash register, and the Queen was totally not having it, raising her voice until he stopped talking, and then she started bringing up some stuff she knew about him, like really personal shit, and he looked away from her to the floor and I could tell he was now a broken man with nothing left to live for, and I think the Queen saw this too, because she reached her hand deep inside the talking register’s mouth and pulled out a fist full of hundreds, saying You know, I think you should have this money since I have so much of it. And we all laughed, except for the gagging cash register.
In the end, the Queen was taken from us too soon, too sober. Thankfully the gods seemed to remember every time her Majesty did them a favor, for her funeral was attended by every important name, and, as per her retainer, Billy Joel performed all of “Glass Houses” live while a strobe light projector cast various images of the queen’s greatest martial arts victories—I’d nearly forgotten the time she knocked out Danny DeVito, though as I saw him waddle by with a drink in each hand, I could tell he remembered it all fondly. Even our secret daughter managed to attend, though I had to refuse making eye contact with her as per preexisting legal agreement. Indeed, she was such a woman, who lived such a life! Her Majesty is survived by ten of her twelve teacup otters, as May and October were ceremonially drained and buried inside the Queen’s jade coffin.
Christopher Morgan is the Co-Manager + Chapbook Editor for *Nostrovia! Poetry*, an Editor for *tNY Press*, and the Editor at Large for *Arroyo Literary Review*. He grew up in Detroit and the Bible Belt of Georgia before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he received his M.A. in Creative Writing and American Lit. His prose and poetry has been published at *Gargoyle*, *A cappella Zoo*, *Voicemail Poems*, *DOGZPLOT*, *Little River**, Fruita Pulp, *and *Skydeer Helpking*, among others.