For sure

“What else, what else belongs in the joyous city?” ~ Ursula LeGuin

This morning a student asks me if I’ve always
known what I’ve wanted— What she means is

in relation to the decision on her major,
after changing at least six times. The last

time was from a pre-med program. But see,
I point out, that’s why you’re the only one

who can use zygomatic in the abecedarian
exercise! I want to say I almost failed high school

Literature, for not figuring out the difference
between metaphor and simile, or metonymy from

synecdoche. I could’ve wound up in music
conservatory, or studying journalism for pre-

law. Yet here I am, talking about confessional
poetry and how in the experience of the colonized

writer/the writer of color it’s not just
the unburdening of intimate personal narrative,

but possibly the enactment of the colonizer’s
desire to extract a confession of original

impurity, in order for him to grant absolution.
Of course I didn’t know either what I wanted

back then; just as this morning I didn’t quite
know if I wanted fried eggs again, or should I

open a can of corned beef to sauté with onions
and garlic? On the drive to work I couldn’t stop

thinking of things I don’t know what to do about
—like when one of my daughters texts to say

she is lonely, always lonely; or when I’m told
another one is afraid our relationship is mostly

superficial. Would it be easier then to say one
knows only that what one wants is everything

the current state isn’t? O wing of my being, o sweet
evening prayer.
I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve

envied the ones who say they are so sure, the ones who never
seem to run through trial and error and error and error.


In response to Via Negativa: Match maker.

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