St. Eugenia Becomes the Monk Eugene

In a dream                   I chase                        a boy from a room

When I catch him     When I catch him at edge of the stair, I hold him          



I say boy look at me                 and he does.

Then                 our                   nerves                 twine                 bundled                   blue

our looking threads drown

in deep water.

I never want to stop                   being afraid                 of this tremble

This trying to know                   who I am                      in the eyes of another.

And oh I tell you I am amazed at the way

he keeps being a boy, and then                    he keeps being a girl.

And though I am seeing                    a change,                       I cannot see

a change,   I can only see a boy,                               and then a girl and then,

and then, again,                                                          and then


And I think: this is something,                                 isn’t it something,


isn’t it.

I look and look and his no her

her eyes no mine, my eyes—

are bigger,



After waking

I wear a monk’s robe.

I stir the sweet grass to boiling.

I am the maker of droughts,              thereafter known as Eugene,

in my house of wattle                                                 daubed with mud.

He who delivers life to infirm men.                          Who knows yet

that he a woman was.

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