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Verge 2013: Becoming

JOHARI WINDOW

Joel Lazar

I

You are open about that private school

for whose rowing-lacrosse-football-debating-fencing team

you were Captain;

everyone knows about

the faulty alignment of your chakras

no carbs-past-six, no food-before-dark;

your views on the war on terrorism,

on soy chai and Wonderwhite

with twice the fibre and half the truth.

All of that stuff.

II

What though

of the mole beneath your right cheek,

the coco-pop on substance,

the porn and the porn and the porn.

The Lie and the Blackness –

the forbidden thought you thought

 about the possibilities of a Slurpee and a free afternoon on familial skin.

The God in whose non-existent face you slammed door after door after door

 when He just didn’t quite seem to get the picture,

 leaving the hanging apparition of relentless ancestors.

 What, though, of all that?

III

Much of the time you are groping past the grey poison of your eye’s white

   whilst a light and a scowl are fired at you from secret cells,

and from your vantage point, high on thick pillars of humility,

there is knowledge of you as the one with whom every woman

wished to make a family –

save for the one who wanted something more.

People here and there – there and there – have you earmarked as ‘the jealous one’, ‘the proud one’, ‘the insincere one’, ‘the fake-it-til-you-fuckin’-make-it one’

and all you would need to do is say: ‘excuse me Sir, Madame, friend of

childhood, lover of birth – would you mind telling me who you think I am?’

   what would you make of that?

How would you use that?

IV

Now pretend – or rather don’t – that you are standing in endless White and there are scattered stone wells plunging to the heart of things;

   there are people there too, casually leaning

against nothing as though Nowhere is exactly where they’re meant to be.

And everyone is shrugging at one another because they know – they are relatively sure – that in those wells

is you

and you

are pretty sure that they are right, but their stone mouths are sealed

with the gloss of all that has come before.

So with these people you begin sipping stories,

and you become Jacob for whom the experience of Rachel

erased the patina of the Unknown.

Then the wells open up –

truly,

for the first time.

Verge 2013: Becoming

   by Peter Dawncy and Camille Eckhaus