My Legacy is a Bird’s Song

Jude Okonkwo ‘21

Make money, win a woman, leave a legacy they say

It’s the only way to be happy. I snicker, holding my cupped palms closer to my chest. Happy, they repeat confused. Happy and Healthy. I snicker again.

What’s funny? Legacy. I laugh. Tell us what’s funny?

Legacy, I say laughing. Legacy and money and women and happy.

You tell a pile of ashes as it sizzles and sputters to focus its fading embers on paper 

and women. You tell it to wallow about in listless dreams, neither grasping nor conceiving.

Why? For the chemicals. For chemicals to chase chemicals 

for chemicals and chemicals and ashes. What do you mean?

I mean I’m more than a grain of sand in a cosmic car crash. I mean we are more than just stardust. I mean that you can keep your money and your women and your legacy.

I mean that yesterday morning I saw happiness chirping on a snowy branch through my apartment’s greasy window pane and I leapt out and caught her. And when I

opened my palms, I heard her song and that’s my legacy.