Why I Should Be Allowed to Battle
Title of my son’s persuasive essay. Prelude to a thesis. Delights but does not persuade. Title for a poem. Acquired sneakily. Stolen. Them’s fighting words. He means he wants to play video games but I mean something ill-conceived, amorphous, inarticulate. Feral. Barbaric as a swallowed and sublimated yell. Title of my yawp. The reasons: Because I have been really good and been a good listener. Because my inner peace has boiled over. Has vaporized and the pot is burning. Because I need something to do. Because of injustice. Because I cannot think of good reasons not to. Because some things you can only learn by swinging: a cat by the tail, a tiger, a terrible mistake, a mood. When I dream of the meadow it is always cold like spring, sliding over your skin like peppermint. The flesh and the blood stay warm; they steam. A change of state, agitation crosses a threshold and I need not move from where I stand.
Shana Ross bought her first computer working the graveyard shift in a windchime factory, then spent a good while authoring a stable life before returning her attention to the page. Since launching her writing career in 2018, her work has appeared in Apeiron Review, Chautauqua Journal, Ruminate, Bowery Gothic, Mom Egg Review, Writers Resist and more. She is the recipient of a 2019 Parent-Writer Fellowship to Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and serves as an editor for Luna Station Quarterly. She holds both a BA and MBA from Yale and rarely tweets @shanakatzross.