The Names of Streets
Behind the Piggly Wiggly—for
years I thought it was a bonafide
fairy glade—hanging moss and live oaks
fern-filled and mysterious, that steady
trickle of what I later learned was
not a stream, but the irrigation canal that
ran adjacent to our Louisiana neighborhood
named after governance. So like a dutiful
American capitalist-in-training, I skinned
my knees on Debit Drive, hopped
chain-link fences on Treasurer, and looked
for crawfish in the ditches on Council.
To be raised in the same house for twelve
years and two floods, then to spend year
after year chasing or outrunning something
that was neither a hot air balloon nor a hurricane,
we moved five times in as many years to
new towns in new neighborhoods. This is
how I learned to spell Rhododendron and
Chrysanthemum: not because I saw
their blooms, but that we moved onto
streets named after where they used to grow.
Rhienna Renèe Guedry is a queer writer and artist who found her way to the Pacific Northwest, perhaps solely to get use of her vintage outerwear collection. Her work has been featured in Empty Mirror, HAD, Oyster River Pages, Bitch Magazine, Screen Door, and elsewhere. Rhienna is currently working on her first novel. Find more about her projects at rhienna.com or @chouchoot on Twitter.