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Peter Leight

Peter Leight lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has previously published poems in Paris Review, AGNI, Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, FIELD, Matter, and other magazines.


Accompanying My Upcoming Change

I’m growing out my hair, hanging it up at night according to a schedule I’m making, I’m not calling it a schedule, it’s more like an approach I’m taking—when people ask me where it’s approaching from I say right here! Right where I am! Not that I’m territorial, not at all, except with respect to the property rights everybody is entitled to. For my upcoming change I’m opening an account with all the money I’m saving by not spending it on territory I don’t need—the main thing is to find something you need, to find out what it feels like to need something, I’m not saying it’s emancipatory, not at all, there are plenty of choices although the process of elimination often leaves you with nothing, this is what I meant to tell you. For my upcoming change I’m putting on my organza dress with Battenburg or Renaissance lace trim, cathedral style, with beaded appliqué the color of dogtooth, together with some long beaded gloves that smooth out the lines in my hands, I often hold my arms against my sides and lift myself up like a passenger on a conveyance that’s right on schedule, I’m not calling it a schedule, the main thing is to keep going, not turning around or turning away, not even accidentally, as if you have a different idea—it’s not actually an idea, I’m not calling it an idea, it’s a kind of approach, when people ask me where it’s coming from I tell them right here! Right on this spot! I’m thinking of changing my name to something more interesting, or something that’s unforgettable, something that goes together, such as Trigger and Happy or Wish and Bone, for my upcoming change I’m taking off my shoes and removing the shoelaces, the ones I pulled myself up with, getting rid of my ideas, which are often weakly opportunistic, I’m going to be completely honest with myself, even about my approach—as long as you’re telling the truth there’s no need to lie, as when you’re playing hide and seek and you know exactly where to look.

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