Spring 2021: Emerging Voices – Michigan Quarterly Review

Spring 2021: Emerging Voices

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My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)

Hit play below to hear Johnna St Cyr read her poem “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)”  and scroll down for the full text. “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)” is featured …

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Stock Image of Boy Scout of America Badges with MQR60 Logo

The Year I Was A Boy

I’m not sure how much I was aware of my intention to become a boy. I never verbalized it, and I knew it wasn’t something that was actually possible. I just wanted to be more of a boy than I was a girl. I’m not sure I understand gender very well, even as an adult woman, but as a child, all I saw was that, in a literal way, boys had it better.

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Couplets by Ghalib

But we could never escape the weight of those final weeks in Dhaka, what we had lost and what we had faced. We couldn’t forget my father’s blank expression before he left our flat for the last time, in search of supplies the day the war ended, nor the barbaric shrieks and shots that resounded through the window during the riot that ensued. We couldn’t forget the dark and bloated bodies on the road, or my own mother’s choking sobs, screaming my father’s name as we searched. In Calcutta, these memories enveloped us with tension as tangible as the white cloth we had placed over our father, after we found him a few streets from our building, already smelling of rot. Now, as I slashed Faisal’s ping-pong paddle like a boy, I felt this shroud beginning to unravel.

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