The Window

by Mary Jean Chan

after Marie Howe

Once in a lifetime, you will gesture

at an open window, tell the one who

detests the queerness in you that dead

daughters do not disappoint, free your

sore knees from inching towards a kind
of reprieve, declare yourself genderless

as hawk or sparrow: an encumbered body

let loose from its cage. You will refuse your

mother’s rage, her spit, her tongue heavy
like the heaviest of stones. Your mother’s

anger is like the sun, which is like love,
which is the easiest thing – even on the

hardest of days. You will linger, knowing
that this standing before an open window

is what the living do, that they sometimes
reconsider at the slightest touch of grace.