When you are nearly a third decade,
look back one. Tell that boy to slow

down, to steal time, to learn Spanish
and not French. Or to learn French

better. To visit France. Tell him brother
never means the things he says, not

faggot, not I promise. Go to Seattle,
live on a houseboat, study anthropology.

Study yourself in the rising tides
of the Puget Sound and soon become

a seal upon a rock washed clear of moss,
but not clean. Clean yourself. Prepare.

Move east. Love a man though you always
thought it’d be a woman. Let the man kick

your stomach, eat it raw. Leave his highway
behind on a yellow bicycle. Eat Doritos,

an entire bag, and make this penance.
Move west again. Or halfway and south.

To Mexico. This is why you should
have learned Spanish in the first place.

(originially appeared in Assaracus, issue 6)