a woman who despised me for the need she had, first introduced me to a writer who has stayed with me long after that woman stopped returning my emails

today i learned
a writer i like named
was awarded a
MacArthur fellowship,
commonly known as a
“genius grant”.
he gets $625,000
paid out over the course of
5 years,
for his genius.
this is money
well spent,
as Hanif is
a genius.

i read his post
regarding this award,
and in it he spoke of
the honor he feels
in joining two other people
from his home town of
Columbus, Ohio,
two other people who
have also been awardees
of this grant.

i was sitting in
a leather recliner
owned by my mom
in a tiny town in
southeast Alaska,
when i read his post,
learned of his award.
i had just finished
eating a frozen pizza,
my mouth still ringing
from its heat.
the house i am in is
empty, save for the
two cats that hide
from me in a
downstairs bedroom.
i live on a boat that
stinks like the oil that
coats its sub-floor engine
room, but i am empty
in this house of my mother’s,
she, on vacation,
so i feed her cats
who hide from me,
and i sit
in her recliner.

i moved so much
growing up
that were i to be
awarded a grant,
something like
“most weight lost
and gained
in a year due to
emotional eating
habits”, i would not
be able to name
any other winners
of this award from
my home town, as
i have none.
i lived in Vermont
for 15 years and
just recently went back
for a visit and
was visited with
comfortable feelings
of remembrance;
“this place is not
my home”.

my body has grown
and it has shrunk,
and it has always been
my home.
when i hate it and
when i can’t feel anything
other than hunger,
it has always been
my home.
it isn’t so smart to
hate your home.
i am not a genius,
i win no awards,
i am at home
in my body. it is good
to have a home.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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