Alex LeGrys: “The Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness

we all know that at the beginning of every country road
sits a dilapidated farmhouse, with tick-infested boxers and
golden retrievers, barking for attention while their
owners fail to pay the electric bill yet buy designer
sunglasses every holiday season

but there is a garden shed in the middle
of every country road filled with moldy teacups and
empty liquor bottles and milk snakes slithering
with one another, waiting for the day to come when
Tiresias tramples them as they copulate—
snickering as their own pain gives rise to
seven years of involuntary womanhood

as this event transpired I would stumble
from the country road’s first house, where I’d
have been arguing with rednecks about tax policy
and how they were only hurting themselves
each time they cast red in a ballot box—
they’d tell me to get off my cross and funnel
cheap red wine down my throat

Tiresias would turn to me leaning
against the shed, shrinking at the milk
snakes and vomiting red slop over their

in a decade we’d meet again on
another night of my half-hearted attempts
at following Christ with ritz crackers
and gas station merlot and pleading the
construction workers to collectively bargain

and as I’d sit in the dirt, shivering at
the serpents, he’d tell me how lucky I was
to be a woman– how much better men are at
pleasing women than the other way around

his only punishment for such nonsense
was never to have to see snakes fuck
again– and that, is perhaps the male condition
I’d tell him– the punishment always
winds up being the reward.

Alex LeGrys is 20 years old and attends Bard College. Her work has appeared in Apricity Press, Better than Starbucks, Fire Agate Press, Modern Literature, and Blue Lake Review.

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