Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 24, December 2012—Trans / Queer Issue)

Hannah Ensor
A Memory: Connecticut 2012 And Never Going Back There
With titles lifted from Sei Shonagon

16. Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

all summer I thought that writing about Joe Paterno was what I needed to be doing. I bought Café Bustelo in the yellow can because it was something like $3 for that whole big can and it didn’t taste too bad. the shopping I did was at Walmart which I convinced myself was the only choice. ah, the grips of temporary poverty! the need for pleasure and what my mother calls “retail therapy”! I have brought both back to the desert. on the first page of moby dick Ishmael says this is my substitute for pistol and ball, it is my favorite line in all of literature. I have a new therapist today. I am drinking whiskey out of a glass my boyfriend calls the goblet of fire. it is mostly just a normal glass but calling it this makes us both happy. all summer I wore a Lebron James jersey in public. I rode my bike even though there was no reason for it.

17. Things That Arouse a Fond Memory of the Past

I did not fix my broken air conditioning and the highway became intolerable. so many times I would sweat all the way to New Haven. there was a bar called Tata’s that had mofongo not breasts. I only went to the ocean once: a mistake if ever I’ve. the whole thing was. all summer I neglected plants that were under my charge. my needs too were ignored but I did not metaphorize the dead plants; my life was separate from theirs. all summer there was a way of living and I couldn’t get to it. or what is more likely, I was in it and living it and it just felt the worst.

19. Oxen Should Have Very Small Foreheads

all summer I was in the same time zone as my parents for once and still didn’t call them. I was in the same region as my aunt and uncle for once and still didn’t see them. all summer I sat at one table in the cafeteria I sat there every day very conspicuously I sat there all the time except when I went instead to get margaritas and tacos in the middle of the fucking day. I would talk to the bartender about Kobe and the Lakers. Steve Nash. after that I would day-nap. too long. all summer I ate Heath Bar-flavored Klondike bars because they were in the freezer and I felt awful when I wasn’t eating them. this summer there was no me so it makes sense that I alienated my loved ones. they loved a thing that was gone: it was like how I felt when there were no more Heath Klondikes. I’m not trying to be cute I’m trying to be accurate.

80. Things That Have Lost Their Power

this summer I went to a Redbox for the first time, it was at a Walgreens slightly to the west, but I needed moral support so I took a friend who was also sad. and then the second time I picked movies that only I wanted to see without consulting with anyone. I could stand to remember that I can pick what I want. tonight I’m looking forward to a Snickers ice cream bar that I probably won’t even get. I am sitting here in boxers stamped espn espn espn espn espn espn. if I sit like this with my legs apart you can’t see my vulva because fabric is in the way. but if I put my legs together it is less certain that fabric will obscure that part of me. this seems a grand irony. all summer I did not think enough about being ladylike. I joked that I was going to wear a tie to the final banquet and then I did.