Daily Archives: July 31, 2020

On Rare Days

On rare days
I can still pretend
(as I always have)
that I am desirable
in the crass and crude sense
used in daily parlance,
although when I am more sensible
I recognize both
the falsehood
and the idiocy
of such pretense.

I understand
that such considerations
should be beneath me
and that my self-worth 
ought to be far less concerned
with conformity,
status quo, or conventional 
beauty; desirability
can ride any horse,
after all;

nonetheless, now and then
I try to pretend 
that from the corner of my eye
I see a head
snap back toward me
walking by; that I can hear
a swift horse being reined in
and turned around; 
that attention is being paid,
and it fills my pockets
with good warm gold.


By Default

I wear the name
“American”
by default only.

It’s not a name
that feels like
a good fit, but in truth

that ill-fit feeling
is as American
an experience

as feeling snug and comfy
when you put the name on.
In fact

the entirety
of American experience
is the history of 

the party of the Snug and Comfy
telling the party of
the Ill-Fitting Name

that one name
fits everyone when in truth
the party of the first part

is only snug and comfy
because the party of the second part
has been made uncomfortable,

and of the discomforted
striving to make the name
fit them as well

when in truth
it wasn’t made
to do that.

I call myself
American 
by default

but I keep trying
for a better fit and 
I see all my fellow

uncomfortable
Americans pushing 
the seams and taking in

the loose fabric
because it’s either do this,
keep living lives of noisy

desperation, or
die of exposure — but  
since that’s what 

the snug and comfy live for,
I swear by the bodies
of all who went before and

will come after, as well as
those here now,
that whatever it takes

to make it so, 
they cannot win and this suit
is going to fit.