A True Account of Yelling at the Sun, Lying Down on Avenue C, and Taking to my Bed.
Yesterday I woke in a familiar bed
unfamiliar with how I had gotten there
wearing almost no clothing
and full of rage. It was
early and the sun was bursting rudely
through the window.
“Let’s smoke on the fire escape,”
I said to my bedfellow,
who had been woken by my waking
by the light of the sun.
Her fire escape was rusted & hot, it was
a beautiful morning and I was angry
with the beauty of the morning.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to listen
to you,” I shouted at the sun.
“Are you listening to me? I am
The sun said nothing.
I held my head in my hands and looked
at the ground,
I thought about falling.
“Let’s go inside,”
my friend said, “don’t jump off the fire escape,”
knowing as she did that this was my
I sat in a window with my face in the fur
of a cat, and when I looked up
I was being photographed
sitting in a white shaft
“This light is so lovely,” my friend said
I thought “yes” I said “I hate it.”
“I hate the sun I hate its light I hate this
morning and the world and everyone
“I have been waiting
my whole life
to talk to the sun.” Or at least since I read
Mayakovsky then O’Hara then
heard my friend talk about when the sun
talked to her. “Everything’s terrible
and it’s not fair.”
We sat in a garden.
I was oppressed by the light.
A flock of doves
which sometimes follows me
flew circles overhead.
We smoked a cigarette
on Avenue C
I lay my body down in the street and said,
The sun said nothing.
I began to wonder if the speech of the sun
was a real thing
or an exceptionally vain mythology.
I kissed my friend goodbye
it was early afternoon
“I’m going to lie in bed.”
When I reached my bed I did lie down.
In my room I have two windows
that face brick walls.
I have a sand-colored cat who kept a vigil.
My head began to sink
I thought I was going to die I thought,
it would be really nice to die
& spite the light. I closed my eyes
and when I opened them
an enormous rainbow was wrapped
around my room.
The rainbow contained the usual colors
of the spectrum
and heaved itself gracefully in arcs
traversing my bare white walls.
At points it was wider than at others and
when it was wider
there was more yellow and red
which made an orange blur
between its too-clean lines. “Why
on earth,” I said to the cat,
“do I have a rainbow in my room?”
The cat meowed loudly at the rainbow.
The rainbow became more vibrant.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” I said &
finally the sun said,
“could I be any more obvious?”
“Yes,” I said,
At this point I called to my roommates
who were awed by the rainbow
they said “What is making this rainbow?”
I said, “the sun”
and not being poets they were not
alarmed by or even interested
in what the sun had to say
so long as it continued
to shine upon their bodies, of which,
they both made their Art.
When they left the rainbow remained.
I closed my eyes, again, in spite.
“I’m not going to look at your rainbow
just because you gave it to me.”
While my eyes were closed
I had a horrible vision
of melting black faces contorted in
“Alright I’ll look at your freaking rainbow,”
“Finally,” the sun said then it said
“listen. I know you are very
keen on dying.
You are bored with your life and I
But you are a special girl, Carina, whether
or not you wanted to be,
if you weren’t, you’d have died
“But why do I have to suffer so much
if I am too special to die?” I whined.
“Because suffering,” said the sun,
“is what you like.
When you suffer you make beauty out of
that which should be ugly.
Plus your body
can handle more than you think it can.”
“I know I can handle it,” I said,
“but I don’t want to.
I want to die.”
“Well that isn’t for you to decide,” it said.
Then the sun went out
as though I had flipped a switch
and the rainbow was gone.
I slept and in my sleep I had more visions
of mass death. I thought about my friend
who the night before had said
“I try to suppress my psychic abilities”
as we walked down the street.
When I opened my eyes the rainbow was
back. The sun made a brilliant
white square in the center of the rainbow
which had taken on a more spherical
“Why did you give me those visions of death?”
I asked, “I thought
you were supposed to make me feel
The rainbow then grew long again.
“I am not supposed
to do anything,” the sun said.
“When you have visions of death it is for
your eventual benefit.
“I’m listening,” I said the sun said
“stop interrupting me. There will be some
it will be your responsibility to see.
You will have to make beauty
so that others can see the terrible things
and feel fewer scars. This is your
job. It’s real work and it will be hard.”
“Why can’t I just do something easy like
sell houses or bake?” I asked.
“It is not your job to question your work
you only have to do it.
Look,” the sun said I said “I’m looking,”
the rainbow began to glimmer.
White points of light appeared first in the
indigo band before bursting through
“Good. It is important that you see
to offset all the terror. When the terror
is over and it will be
it will take a long time for you
to turn it into beauty.
You do not have to do this alone forever
but there will be times when you
will not be able
to relate to anyone. This is again
because you are special.
Just remember that you have a job
that is only yours
and you will be fine. You will always be
“Oh thanks,” I said. “Can I sleep beneath
this rainbow now? That feels like
a beautiful terror.”
The sun agreed. When I next looked
at the rainbow it was smaller again.
I looked at it for a long time in silence &
knew the sun was done with me
for the time being.