Before I Turn Into Gold Anthology: “The Reason I Write” by Kat Blair

(c) Geoffrey Wren

The Reason I Write

In the house where I 
grew up was a library
and in that library was
a man.  He was
beautiful and terrible,
loving and mean. This
man loved words with
a passion and read
me anything and
everything he could
find. Sendak and
Homer, Wyndham and
White. He gave me
words and he brought
them to life. He gave
me words for years
until he'd finally given
me the words I
needed to leave him.
The words I'd use to
pick myself back up.
He gave me so many
words to love. He 
gave me Leonard. He
gave me a poem.

The reason I write is
to make something as
beautiful as you are.

The reason I write is
because I can't help it.
Words are the safest
place I know. I play
with them
incessantly. I craft
conversations in my
head, jot notes in
books, and index
lyrics and quotes with
the rapacious
appetite known only
to children raised in a
cage built of books. I
can give you the plot
points of the Iliad,
quote White
Christmas, and argue
the bible as literature
with equal ease. In
our house, the ability
to bend words was
survival the way food
was survival the way
staying stock still in
the right moments
was survival and, if I
know one thing, it's
how to survive.

If I'm without one
thing, it's the ability to
tell when it's okay to 
stop.

I hoard food then
binge it then go
without it for days.
I've bought a library
twice over. I still, a
decade from poverty,
run a tab in my head
in the store while I
shop. I am an expert at
going unnoticed. I am
capability incarnate. I
have never needed a 
thing in my life.

In 1993 I was
enamoured with a boy
who painted me a
replica of the Various
Positions album
cover and tucked it
into a spare CD case
as wrapping for a pair
of silver earrings I still
have today. A month
later he caught my
backpack as I d
dropped it out the
window of my father's
house before taking
the back alley way
from there for the last
time. We were on our 
way out too, 
everything but the
words themselves
already occupying the
space between his
hand and mine. When
we broke up, I turned
back to Beautiful
Losers. Where better 
to lose yourself than 
in words.

There is a magic to
language, and I wield
it. He broke me in 
three words but I will
love you forever in 
five, and I have never
been accused of
modernism. If I love
you, you will know it. I
won't let that love sit.
I have sat too long in
that absence myself.
In my way, I am 
bending and shaping 
the world as I know it,
doing my best to hold
back the tide. I am
taking these words,
divorced from their
origin, despite their
origin, because of it
too, and stocking
the shelves of that library
anew. This time, no
weapons. This time,
we're building. This
time the hero is me
and the hero is you.
This time we go back
and we rescue the
girl.

When I'm with you I
want to be the kind of
hero I wanted to be 
when I was seven 
years old. A perfect
man who kills.

Bio:  Kat Blair (she/her) is a queer Canadian writer, editor, and poet 
living in California. Co-EIC of Corporeal and Chapbook Editor for Lupercalia, Kat tweets as @katharine_blair and fumbles the rest on Instagram @kat_harineblair

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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