Waxwing Literary Journal: American writers & international voices.

The Future

Lesley Jenike

Miranda July told me, “Someday you’ll remember Miranda July telling you.”

Miranda July told me, “Someday you’ll have a child too and someday you’ll remember Miranda July telling you that someday you’ll have a child.”

Someday Miranda July will tell me, “In July you’ll have a child and you’ll remember, someday, the TV set and my face on it, my Chaplinesque face, the kind of face that asks people to tell it secrets, my Tramp-like face with its weird, sad eyes and little invisible mustache.”

Someday in November I’ll be standing around a spread of food on a colleague’s table, plate in one hand, glass of wine in the other, begging the universe for July and someday she’ll come and with her the memory of her. She won’t want to talk about movies or art. She’ll want to talk about babies and laundry.

Someday the tissue connecting me to my future will snap and there will be all this blood, all this blood and I’ll wipe it up alone in the bathroom with the door shut.

Someday in July I’ll remember having had a child and cry.

Someday I’ll remember the remembering and cry about that too.

Someday the Charlie behind the Chaplin and the Chaplin behind the Charlie will step out from behind Miranda July and say, “You’ll remember how we told you; maybe it’ll be in July — your birth month, our last name month. And if December comes, can July be far behind?”

Someday I’ll discover that some people have many people behind them and that some of these people are borne by strangers.

Someday my mother will call me and in the voice of Miranda July tell me about a woman so fertile she’s decided to be pregnant with a stranger’s baby and my shadow will flinch a little.

Someday Miranda July will remind me that it’s my mother speaking and not her. I need to be reminded of that.

Someday Miranda July will call out from the future with her mind that floats in a jar, and with her mind she’ll say, “Someday you’ll remember how I told you, in the beginning there’ll be fighting, lots of fighting, and you’ll feel like a teenager all over again.” “Why,” I’ll ask, “because of the feeling of being absolutely in love?” “No,” she’ll say, “because you’re learning how.”

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Lesley Jenike

Lesley Jenike

Lesley Jenike is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Ghost of Fashion (CW Books 2009) and Holy Island (Gold Wake 2014), and has received fellowships and scholarships from The Ohio Arts Council, The Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Smartish Pace, and many other journals. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Columbus College of Art and Design.