the words in quotations at the end are from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The words are not mine. But the people are ones I respect.

Moth, she sings to me slowly. I inhale her words, her voice. I taste the, in my mouth and they stay, lingering. Afraid to disappear. But they do, because Moth never writes down her words. But her voice is poetry. Low and rich and hoarse.

I miss the years my voice was like that. And my hair light and curly in the sun. Dirt on my body. Sun is in my heart. My voice smoked. My vocal chords strained so that what came out was so strange. So angry. So full of everything that I was. Everything that I still am.

But now my voice sounds like others. It sounds like a girl my age. It says the things I want it to say, yet it does not sound like me. It sounds like smooth running cars and dishwashers and drains. It sounds like polyester and eye shadow.

But then it sounded like dry leaves under a tiny pair of feet. Fingernails scratching at the bark of a beautiful tree. It sounded like eyes lashes against cheeks and throw flat little rocks into the water, trying to make them jump.

It's all changed. I am not longer the little girl with the voice that smoked. The grovely voice from screaming too much.

My voice is muddy water. So that if I want it to resemble anything that is me I must distort it. Anger it. Sadden it. Scratch it when I sing. Use it in a way that is my own.

"Here's to Patti, and Tina, and Yoko, Aretha, and Nona, and Nico, and me."