Audio Recording #3
Debora Kuan

It isn't true what they say about me. I want things, just like everyone else.

I want, for instance, tremendous changes to have taken place during the night or nothing to have changed at all. I want someone to say to me, "You're overscheduled." Or, "I would never ask this of you." I want to be the person I was before all this happened and the person I will be when all this is over.

Everywhere you look, people are living their lives out in the open, without shame. Girls with blue lips ride the train standing between the aisles. A man falls asleep on his oversized baggage. Elsewhere, a mother pulls her crying daughter off her bicycle and the helmet falls over the child's face.

Doesn't anyone have anything to hide? I hold my life in my lap and wait. This is nowhere and no one is watching.

When I open up my notebook, I find relics of old, half-finished thoughts. "Erotic despair (Hopper)." "Infatuation is revenge against love." "Brio."

At night, I turn on this tape recorder and listen to conversations from last winter I don't remember having. We're talking about your house keys. I sound so eager. You sound so far away. Was I trying to get you to say something? Why did you misunderstand me? I was listening.

Debora Kuan's poems and short fiction have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, Iowa Review, New American Writing and others. She also writes art criticism for Artforum and Art in America.

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