My First Autobiographical Fiction

Every story starts with that first
sin, and mine is believing that you
catch more flies with honey.
In the first short story class I ever took,

I thought about writing a story about
a girl who eats oranges for a living,
peel and all, goes to rodeos where
she sits in the audience, wondering
if anyone can see her bucking,

throwing men off of her wooly back.
She would convert to a new religion
every night when she was bored, and
arrange rocks on her windowsill

to look like planets and stars, not
realising that some of the shiniest
rocks were pieces from broken bottles.
She arranged feasts for stray cats.

They told me someone so broken
wasn’t believable, so I tried to mend
her with one hand tied behind my
back, never taking a nail from my
mouth but willing some unknown mercy

to make those pieces hold. But the
story always ends the same: late
at night, she sits eating cherries,
spitting the pits out of the window
of her neurotic aunt’s home. This
is where it gets truly autobiographical:

in this ending, I am the pit, willing
myself to fall, hoping to hit some
fertile ground, where at least I’ll
have one last shot to grow.

My Girls & I

& yes i know that stray dogs enter the compound in the dark and sit on the swing & yes i have seen their oblong eyes juiced in meditative silence & yes sometimes i join them

Self Portrait with Rain

But, /
somewhere: dawn and the hum of hollowing /
seeds planted in dry weather, like a sigh /
or shout or song for when the sky /
breaks open and gives out /
something kinder than light.