I Am A Unicorn (But No One Believes Me)
by Jennifer Anne Champion
The truth is I am a unicorn.
But no one believes me.
People ask, If you’re a unicorn, where’s your horn?
And I’m too embarrassed to tell them how
every other month I trim mine down and sell it to a sinseh.
Even the sinseh looks doubtful,
but I tell him not to judge a unicorn by its horn
or lack thereof.
It’s just keratin.
There are worse things to sell away.
Like your dignity.
The dignity of a unicorn lies in its tail.
The iridescent paleness made richer by stories.
I feed on myth. I nibble on hearsay
Spun from the mouths of my grandparents.
But lately when this unicorn picks up the morning paper,
it makes her sad.
This unicorn licks the sugar cubes meant for her tea.
Finds it all fake and aspartame. This makes her sad.
This unicorn goes to work and teaches children to sing about happy places.
But the children get more cynical each year.
They tell her, ‘cher why you so happy?
This also makes her sad.
Unicorns were made to gallop in fields and ruminate by rivers.
Now this unicorn just tweets like everyone else. Shortens experiences
and life expectancies to one minute rants and carries on.
People ask, If you’re a unicorn, how do you type?
And I’m too sad to remind them that for every question
wrapped in disbelief, another piece of magic falls off.
Soon I will take off my shoes and find I have feet for hooves.
This too will make me sad.
The stories will be replaced with fact.
The facts will be replaced with figures.
My figure may very well be replaced by a number.
One, is a very lonely number indeed.
(Why do rhinos get to be a protected species?)
I am not bitter.
I am a unicorn.
But no one believes in unicorns anymore.
Reprinted with permissions from author and publisher, “I Am A Unicorn (But No One Believes Me)” was first published in SingPoWriMo (Math Paper Press, 2014)
Jennifer Anne Champion is a writer and performance poet. She has been described by Juice Magazine as gifted with “swift, animated style.” In 2015, she released her first solo work of poetry – A History of Clocks (red wheelbarrow books, 2015). Jennifer’s curatorial essays have also been published by galleries in Italy, Switzerland and Singapore, and her articles have appeared in Esquire Magazine. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry with Math Paper Press titled Caterwaul, due for release in 2016.