Jordan Sanderson earned a PhD from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His work has appeared in several journals, including NANO Fiction, Caketrain, Double Room, Gigantic Sequins, and The Oklahoma Review, and he is the author of two chapbooks, Abattoir (Slash Pine Press, 2014) and The Formulas (ELJ Publications, 2014). Jordan lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and teaches English at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
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The last thing I expected to find in my latte was a penis. At first glance, I thought: Candlestick. But, no. Staring up at me from the top of my caffeinated beverage was a depiction of what my husband jokingly refers to as “Texas.” My latte had been adorned with an anatomically accurate representation of male genitalia.
Daily Grind employees, a rotating group of fresh-faced, female baristas, take pride in their foam art—usually hearts, tulips, and abstract paisley patterns. Mallory and Ashley remind me of my daughters—edgy, yet wholesome. But the day I found myself cradling a lewd latte, the face behind the gleaming copper espresso machine was decidedly male. A bedhead, Johnny Depp soul patch, young male.
Young, to me, means anyone under thirty-five. I may be 50+ years old, but at a dinky five-feet, zero inches (when I inhale), I transform back into a prepubertal middle schooler when I stand at coffee shop counters, all of them elevated like the pharmacy counters of old, as if height somehow correlates with the preciousness of the commodity being dispensed. As if my latte were, in some small way, something to be guarded. Dangerous.
As I paid for my order, I