Heather Dorn is the Assistant Director of The Binghamton Poetry Project and a PhD student at Binghamton University. She has been published in Red Fez, Citizens for Decent Literature, and has work forthcoming in The Paterson Literary Review. She wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up but she has a broken washing machine instead. She sometimes eats tacos to make up for this.
When I was 8, I did a report in school on the Egyptians
and I saw how smart they were to love cats. I decided
I wanted to be mummified when I died and I never
reconsidered. My college major was chosen by the shortest
registration line. Nobody wanted to be an English major
so it was perfect. Because I hated math. And didn’t yet know
about sociology or archeology. Or psychology or law
or neurology or history. I didn’t know that there was a t-shirt
that read: “I’m an English major, do you want fries with that?”
I outlined the Romantics by Roman Numerals. I. Blake
“A Poison Tree.” II. Shelley “Ozymandias” III. Where
are the women? Where are the women? There’s more Shelley’s.
Now, I learned to read backwards. One letter at a time, then one
sentence. I learned to focus in on each spider’s eye and see from
his perspective. Nobody cares about the fly’s and I try to never waste
words. After I write suicide notes, I burn them. Except the one
I wrote in a mixed state and buried behind the garage. I wish
I could reread it now to look for my mistakes.