When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Chen Chen

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To be a good

ex/current friend for R. To be one last

 

inspired way to get back at R. To be relationship

advice for L. To be advice

 

for my mother. To be a more comfortable

hospital bed for my mother. To be

 

no more hospital beds. To be, in my spare time,

America for my uncle, who wants to be China

 

for me. To be a country of trafficless roads

& a sports car for my aunt, who likes to go

 

fast. To be a cyclone

of laughter when my parents say

 

their new coworker is like that, they can tell

because he wears pink socks, see, you don’t, so you can’t,

 

can’t be one of them. To be the one

my parents raised me to be —

 

a season from the planet

of planet-sized storms.

 

To be a backpack of PB&J & every

thing I know, for my brothers, who are becoming

 

their own storms. To be, for me, nobody,

homebody, body in bed watching TV. To go 2D

 

& be a painting, an amateur’s hilltop & stars,

simple decoration for the new apartment

 

with you. To be close, J., 

to everything that is close to you —

 

blue blanket, red cup, green shoes

with pink laces.

 

To be the blue & the red. 

The green, the hot pink.

Chen Chen, “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities” from When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. Copyright © 2017 by Chen Chen. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2017)