It has only been for lack of trying anything else. When someone asks

Where I am from, I tell them a neighborhood or state one or two over.

Not because there is anything wrong with mine and not to impress them,

But because of the secret between me and my mouth. Because it cannot

Be taken away. It is a little like singing in the shower or folding paper cranes

And keeping them in the back of the closet. Not a hobby. Concession.

Cracking knuckles. The things we do to reset ourselves and so that we don’t

Do worse. A little like taking seashells from the beach. You could snuggle them

Back into the sand, but you don’t particularly want to and anyhow, you are tired

Of being trustworthy. Like smoking. Not the addiction. Just whatever gets you

To the end of the day. Whatever slides off your tongue when no one

Can see between your teeth, pulls your spine as straight as it will get.

I suppose I haven’t been completely open with you. I don’t know if anyone

Really knows why they do these things. Just that they do, which is more

Than the lungs can say. Couldn’t stop even if they tried.

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.