sam says you can’t name your book good boys without a dog
but sam doesn’t know that i am the dog
i am the ultimate mutt and i am telling him this story
at the bar called college hill tavern which looks like a front
for some operation where all the bar stools appear as if
they were staged in under ten minutes and
the girl with the fake lashes knows
i like a double gin and i am telling sam
that i am a dog who was converted
when i was seventeen and my mother found an essay
about how i was in love with a girl
and there was a portishead reference
in case you need me to date it
and this was way before the liberation of the young and the white
twins on youtube who come out to their dad
and everybody cries and transforms.
when i see those kids all i think is that they never had parents
who were immigrants and who sent you to a lady
and told you that you had to solve it all
in one session because this therapy was expensive.
it wasn’t so traumatic. rather funny. and i remember the couch
there were multiple couches and i had to choose a spot and i sat
on the couch farthest from her and this wasn’t the first nice lady
who looked at me like i was a dog
and sam, when i said it is called good boys
what i meant was that i was a good boy
and loved good boys
and good men and still love them
but you see, i was seventeen and alone
and nobody gave me anything except one book by dickinson
and she was so neat, so precise, so human
and i wasn’t. i just wasn’t.
i was just a dog. i wasn’t even that good.
Megan Fernandes, “CONVERSION” from Good boys. Copyright © 2020 by Megan Fernandes. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Good boys (Tin House Books, 2020)