sam says you can’t name your book good boys without a dog

but sam doesn’t know that i am the dog

i am the ultimate mutt and i am telling him this story

at the bar called college hill tavern which looks like a front

for some operation where all the bar stools appear as if

they were staged in under ten minutes and

the girl with the fake lashes knows

i like a double gin and i am telling sam

that i am a dog who was converted

when i was seventeen and my mother found an essay

about how i was in love with a girl

and there was a portishead reference

in case you need me to date it

and this was way before the liberation of the young and the white

twins on youtube who come out to their dad

and everybody cries and transforms.

when i see those kids all i think is that they never had parents

who were immigrants and who sent you to a lady

and told you that you had to solve it all

in one session because this therapy was expensive.

it wasn’t so traumatic. rather funny. and i remember the couch

there were multiple couches and i had to choose a spot and i sat

on the couch farthest from her and this wasn’t the first nice lady

who looked at me like i was a dog

and sam, when i said it is called good boys

what i meant was that i was a good boy

and loved good boys

and good men and still love them

but you see, i was seventeen and alone

and nobody gave me anything except one book by dickinson

and she was so neat, so precise, so human

and i wasn’t. i just wasn’t.

i was just a dog. i wasn’t even that good.

Bibliographical info

Megan Fernandes, “CONVERSION” from Good boys. Copyright © 2020 by Megan Fernandes. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Good boys (Tin House Books, 2020)


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