Liz Latty, 2012 Writers Retreat Fellow in Nonfiction

Liz Latty, 2012 Writers Retreat Fellow in Nonfiction



all right so I'm going to read a section for you I'm assuming from my manuscript in progress entitled mirror box it is about my doctrine and specifically a sense for the relationship between myself and my biological mother who I found when I was in my I imagine it like this avoid a girl a mother a problem to be solved Friday morning it's still Thursday night a schoolmate November 3rd 1978 a straight Michigan I Tara her screaming bloody vagina openers shredding any decency machine he ever had the room is cold and silent I'll and she opens her mouth but nothing comes out I scream from her not knowing what's coming the boy who did this to her commandeering manhood for a moment clutches meaning for the future memory loss they take me away the birthplace but before that the uncomplicated life and the months we had together you talk to me so many stories you would join me or baggy clothes were you ever happy with me women dreamed of our life together reading happy this is only my dream you are 17 we are growing together we go to Van de Graaff you play the sax and I can feel its vibrations it's cool it's her only roasting there Annabelle open a house or home depending on how much I hope your left stage you cry a lot thirsty dehydrated and deserted land on the market we want to stay together but we're not allowed your father my grandfather has decided this is not our body this is not about me this is not even my body so instead you will get to keep the memory of me and the same body you will very very somewhere deep and dark your cervix the recesses of your mind or a shoebox out in the backyard a river that divides Nations and Kennedy away the first time I visited your parents house your father couldn't look at me he shook my hand like a business associate but then changed his mind and hugged me an awkward teenager unsure of his own body or honor can't shame and sighs they didn't know his secret then I didn't know he was the one who made you give me away and that his family never forgave him after I was gone grandfather how can I write this in a way this nonsense of its own how about your piece of about you made a girl into a monster a hateful woman bodyless cardinal rule and mystery a fairy tale once upon a time long time ago the first time I visited your parents house your father took me out behind the house he walked me down a small hill to the banks of the Detroit River and arm around my shoulder I felt like a son there we staged a dress rehearsal for the real thing grandfather and grandchild share a moment a history passed down through generations that will make future generations and continue the passing he told me how this river was a great and powerful river this river and of my whole life this river that separated us from another country that didn't ever feel like another country but just a place to go on weekends this river whose arms and legs reached from miles and miles and ran from this very house and began in all the way past the very house I actually grew up in hell before I didn't run toxic from the oil and smoke and blood that poured out of the factories that built this city and then destroyed before it became a river that killed men who accidentally fell in and swallowed a mouthful or maybe just touched their lives to it before I learned to fish toxic fish from it and even before I snuck out my window late into the night to me boys were wooden bridges crusted surging future and tributaries and held us while we dangled feet and smoked cigarettes and touched limbs before this it always from the great river room this name means the river of the straight my new grandfather told me because it connects these great bodies of water and is carried severed confer trainers and car bodies and rum runners and drug smugglers and immigrants for centuries through this stolen land is ravaged land that now we live on here next to this Yacht Club your father told me all this and I felt like employee child is the river bank must beneath our boots then we went inside and when we couldn't find you I became your daughter again searching legacy making another mistake [Applause]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *