Vo l . 6 N o . 2
Threw my roses down
While the teacher blabbed on and on, I drew and colored with my eight crayons fat as fingers. I made a set of cowboys in ten gallon hats and their horses, some black some brown, some spotted, drawn on notebook paper and cut out with blunt nosed scissors. All of them corralled in a sleeve inside my ring binder. Let the other kids work at endless additions and subtractions; I took out my horses and men, galloped them across my desk with clucks of my tongue, told myself stories without end about how the west was won.
Femininity With my femininity under my arm, we hustled down the dusty shell of a broken college town, past the crooked props that used to sell feed and pens to students, where I offered my femininity to my fiancé. He refused it. Passersby frowned and jeered: The wrinkled grape thought it was best suited for a child; Her charge thought that I was just too old.
Doing It Yourself Every outcome lies between failure and unintended result. How could it be otherwise? The mitered corner not quite on square, the smirking hammer strike to remind me of the mishit nail, the thread-stripped screw, evidence of all I’ve done myself. We must own, celebrate our errors. What else is there in life but a steady falling away from some imagined ideal into the real? Here’s what’s possible: Not the Platonic table, but the one that with a bit of cardboard shim under one leg can be made steady enough to serve. We make do. Life’s no more than that, making do. As sure as gravity, every action a confirmation of our only human selves.
A fluffy pink, the doll’s dress was --with pink bows, of course. Blonde with pigtails, the hair was --with tight curls, of course. Shattered sidewalks failed to absorb the shame, as my femininity receded into my ragged college jacket along with my spent youth and thrift store receipt, only to allow patches of its plastic head and feet to emerge when I least wanted it.
A Journal for the North Pacific Rim