Written August 2018
Each time I turn to Susan Sontag’s journal,
I find myself
on the same entries,
drawn to the same lines —
“All my life I’ve been looking for someone intelligent to talk to.”
“I’m loyal to my feelings. What does that mean?”
another — a favorite —
On a Sunday afternoon
Lauren & I talk shit about boys
at a French cafe on the corner of Augusta
over fries & the perfect whiskey smash.
I worry about my looks
(again, what a fucking bore)
and she looks perfect,
with her arm stretched out
on the back of the bench
that might just be a church pew.
I want to take her picture,
but I don’t.
I’ve been told I’m beautiful
my whole fucking life
& still, it doesn’t stick.
We only hear what we can
— or is it what we want?
Unlike Susan, I don’t feel loyal to my feelings.
They change constantly, after all.
I order another whiskey smash.
There are sauteed calf brains on the menu.
I could never pretend to be that invested.
You can order them for breakfast, even.
All my life I’ve been looking for someone
to make me laugh like I do with my girlfriends.
“Can I love someone (N[icole]) and still think/fly?”
I’d say so, Susan, yes.
But where is the proof?
She writes of feeling “inauthentic at a party”
& lately — forever? — I feel inauthentic
when I have the desire
to show my authentic
to a man.
What does that mean?
On August 14, 1973, in Paris,
Susan Sontag was reading — re-reading —
Kafka’s “Investigations of a Dog”
And on August 2018, in Chicago,
I’m reading another woman’s journal
& just trying
to get my new cat to love me.
Rosy mythologies, indeed.