Taurus Sun, Cancer Moon, Scorpio Rising

by Paul Tran

Sigh of the Santa Ana through the chaparral clinging to the mountain. Through the sunflowers at night, searching for the sun, along the river no longer a river. The wind kissing the river, its stone face, and making each stone a matchbook. A match. A book on fire. The river a library on fire. The wind a woman running through the valley on fire. Searching. The sunflowers turning toward her. Her nightgown a book turning its own bright pages in the wind. Smoke the color of chaparral. Smoke clinging to her, making her a mountain of smoke. A valley of light. A sigh.


You’re too afraid of who you are to know who you can be. You’re too afraid of being happy. You’re too happy being afraid. You’re afraid you’re happy. You’re afraid, the way a broken bowl gilded and glued back together with gold is still broken, that knowing makes no difference. You’re broken, still, but you’re happy. You’re afraid, too, but still, you’re happy. You’re who you can be, already, whether or not you know. You’re different, already. You don’t need to know to know. You’re ready.


Yesterday, when the cake with thirty candles came out, I thought, closing my eyes, that my wish would be to go back to the moment my mother brought me home to East Mountain View, furnished with only her vanity, the mirror with us waving at us, at once Hello and Goodbye, and that I would wish to hold her bright and broken face, to look at her as she was and not as either of us wanted her to be, telling her as if telling myself that we were doing our best, and yet, today, opening my eyes and looking into my own vanity, smoking a cigarette, the tip like a sunflower scorched from searching and searching still by the light that scorched it, I think, instead, that my wish will be to keep going forward, to see what else will happen with this life, and I think I will.