my sister asks me to consider what would make me happy.
i am living fairly innocuously in a town where tall trees make shadows on the wide paved street and the sound, at eleven o’clock, is of left over rain drops descending through layers of leaves. tonight i am listening to music made by people i used to vaguely know. there is something going on in this world, just a drive away from where i am, but it seems like another world to get there, like a space suit and a golden key sort of trip, if you see what i mean, to arrive in one piece, to arrive in style.
what would make me happy? to be gay. a gay man with this woman of a body, this woman shape, these woman arms and thighs, woman breasts and woman feet. to be a gay man who was once a six year old in pink leotard and tights, who grew into a fifteen year-old girl with defiant eyes, who made friends with the cafeteria ladies and disappointed the faculty and should have been in trouble, but wasn’t.
now i am a typewriter and a guitar clerk and a speckled egg with a hawk inside who craves the tender jaw of chipmunk fed her by the thing too giant to be recognized as mother, who must therefore be god.
what would make me happy would be to fall in love while stepping across a river, while stone-walking in a stream. what would make me happy would be to negotiate traffic on the way to a yogurt shop where the walnuts and passionfruit wait behind a glass case to be mixed in.
it is not as if these words are just waiting behind my teeth while i grit them. they come and go as taxis, willing to pick up the next ready passenger while my tongue plays dumb fumbling with foreign currency, protracted by the plan to organize the phrase, as if it were in an unmastered language: how much will it cost me to get where i’m going?