The Border I Named Honesty (excerpt)

by Paola Liendo

Ode to Jigglypuff

Oh, Jigglypuff,
Queen of All
Attention Whores!
What an honor
to bear witness
to your dark flush
and unflinching outrage.

Goddess of sinister hush,
love lullaby powers,
thank you for your lessons
in huffed impatience.
How kind of you to
demonstrate righteous
indignation so clearly.

Mother of Markerphones,*
historicize your weapon:
how quickly did you realize
some would not listen
to your unfamiliar tongue?
When did you so gloriously
decide to unleash your
felt-tip ferociousness?

Sleep turns us all so greedy,
hoarders of our own honesty.
No more. I will lace my voice with
magic, turn women into dreamers
and men into canvases and
people into open books.

Look up at the pink sky I’ve become.
Watch my voice echo nowhere
and everywhere.

*Jigglypuff is a Pokémon who can put others to sleep by singing. In the animated series, Jigglypuff is offended when people fall asleep during her performances, and she frequently uncaps a marker (which doubles as a microphone) to draw on their faces in retaliation.

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