N A R R A T I V E
For example, I was once
a sundress on a splintery
swingset in Texas, and the world
was made of yellow grass
struggling to live in sand, sand
beyond our fence, across the street,
sand that could have drowned us
but didn't. Because it was
a border town, there were other
others, so we sort of
belonged. The cacti, religiously
stoic, held promise, as did the mountains,
cast pink in the waning sun.
In Illinois I tried to build a kind of Midwestern
girlhood that failed and failed
into the shape of a flute
I played only high notes on.
I stopped eating
meat. Stopped speaking
Greek. Became an ear.
Now the only one I remember from that time
is the girl who looked like a boy or maybe
was one, who walked the same way home
I walked, same coat, same sneakers,
whom I never once greeted, just repeated
his-her name to myself: Dominick? Dominique?
Massively old trees canopied the cobbled streets.
The houses set so far apart you'd hear neither
argument nor song. Dominick.
Dominique. Not a stitch of recognition
passed between us.
A R I B A N I A S
A N Y B O D Y