SmokeLong Quarterly

Share This f l Translate this page

We All Know About Margo

Story by Megan Pillow (Read author interview) September 17, 2018

Art by Andrei Lazarev

When Margo takes off her shirt, we all know what’s coming.

Margo, who we all say has the best tits in the senior class, has a shot of tequila in one hand and the shirt in the other. It’s a flimsy little piece of rainbow-colored cloth that hangs from her finger like a flag on a windless day. Margo, whose lips are second-best for sucking dick behind that red-head junior Rachel, is knocking that shot back like a pro, tilting her head and throwing her chest out and making us all stare at her tits busting out of that teeny tiny black lace bra. While she’s occupied, Dave pulls the shirt from her finger like “whoops” and we all laugh. Margo, who once fucked Hugo on the back of the team bus to Cedar Key and we all know it’s true because we could hear her moaning, drops the shot glass in the middle of Dean’s carpeted basement, and we all know what’s next.

We’re all watching Margo, who got her tits and her period and the attention of a thousand men when she was ten, like we do almost every Saturday night. Margo, who has a small tattoo of a broken heart on her right hip, tells us to turn up the music so she can dance. Margo, who tutored Andrew through Algebra and helped that lazy fucker get a B, shouts about the power and poison and pain and joy inside her DNA and winks at Dean. Margo, who once told Dave that she’d held Hugo in the back of the bus while he cried about his parents’ divorce and pretended to moan so that no one would hear him, takes the bottle of Cuervo this time and tosses it back, and all of us adjust our erections. Margo, who still has a bunch of drunk Instagram messages that Dean sent last year proclaiming his undying love and agonizing over the size of his dick, unbuttons her shorts, and we all cheer. Margo, who has never shown those messages to anyone, slides her shorts down her thighs, and we lean in. Margo, who leaves the bathroom light on all night, sits down on Andrew’s lap, and we know that will be us soon enough.

Margo, who has hair that smells like rosemary and cigarette smoke and mint and plastic and honey and McDonald’s grease, runs her tongue along the edge of Andrew’s earlobe and whispers something that we all want to know. Margo, who is on track to be the valedictorian and go to Brown if only she doesn’t fuck it all up, puts her arms around Andrew’s neck and holds him close. It looks to us like she’s trying to get him to suck one of her tits but Andrew whispers something back to her and tries to be cool about it. Margo, whose brown eyes are framed by long, long lashes but somehow always look sad, leans back, back, back, and Andrew puts a hand behind her to catch her, but really he’s just taking her bra off.

Margo, who wrote a poem about butterflies that won a Highlights contest in second grade, Margo, who has watched Mamma Mia seventeen times and knows all the words, Margo who always has money to lend when somebody needs it, Margo, who told somebody in eighth grade that she had an orgasm from a tampon once and who has never lived it down, Margo who all the boys want to fuck and all the girls say they want to be friends with but who never seems to have anyone to hang out with on Saturday night except for us, Margo, who has only come one time in her life but who has cried a thousand, Margo puts a finger in the elastic of her panties and pulls them off with just one hand.

Margo, who doesn’t have a curfew, Margo, who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in almost a year, lies down on the couch with Andrew, and we all wait our turn. Margo, who watches MasterChef over Andrew’s shoulder, pretends she’s making a soufflé instead. Margo, who once wrote “Margo is a whore” in the last girls’ bathroom stall in bright red ink, is in the kitchen with the light behind the curtains and the heat of the oven on her hands and the smell of the rise in her nose. Margo, who told her parents she was going to a sleepover at Maggie’s house even though her parents never asked, is trying not to think of Sunday.

Margo, who whispered “please take me home” into Andrew’s ear just a moment ago, Margo, who heard Andrew whisper back “it’s too late.” Margo, who is the name and the body we all come back to when we’re alone in our beds, Margo, who is the name we’ll try never to think about again once high school is over, Margo, who won’t come to the five, or ten, or fifteen-year reunions, and none of us will wonder why, Margo, who is just waiting for us to finish, Margo, Margo, Margo, who.

About the Author

Megan Pillow

Megan Pillow is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kentucky. She is project manager for Roxane Gay and co-editor of The Audacity (Dr. Gay’s newsletter). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in, among other places, in Electric LiteratureSmokeLong QuarterlyThe BelieverGuernica, and Gay Magazine. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her two children.

About the Artist

Find Andrei Lazarev‘s photography at Unsplash.

This story appeared in Issue Sixty-One of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Sixty-One

Support SmokeLong Quarterly

Your donation helps writers and artists get paid for their work. If you’re enjoying what you read here, please consider donating to SmokeLong Quarterly today.

SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Book Now!

Included in the price of SmokeLong Fitness:

The Community Workshop in small groups
One live Zoom webinar each month with killer workshop leaders (recorded for participants unable to attend).
One open-mic party each month (or other live Zoom events)
Discounts on intensive workshops
Discounts on senior editor feedback
Surprises (good ones)