In the life where I live in London
I have been shamed into thinness
& am a glossier shinier version of myself
who never stutters or stumbles over words
& whose accent shapeshifts into something
out of a Victorian novel or maybe Georgian
& I will know the difference & talk about it at parties
held by people whose lives are mostly on track
but who nevertheless angst over not having hit
target x at 28 because they always thought…
& then tell you about their spiralizers.
I need to explain about Jake Sisko
who is a fictional character on Star Trek Deep Space Nine
which began 1993, ended 1999, and therefore
should be of little interest to me except
I am a big nerd and also, Netflix exists.
The thing about Jake is he is a kid in this world,
this fuzzy-lovely vaguely-military-not-really universe,
and his dad is super-important and everyone thinks
Jake will join Starfleet because who doesn’t want to join Starfleet?
I mean that’s what you do if you’re a kid
in the world of any Star Trek franchise – you go to the Academy.
(Don’t make me think about how this is like
joining the American military, please,
because a girl needs her fandoms.)
So Jake. Steps away from duty, loyalty, the uniform,
everything his dad loves
and everything that killed his mom,
and becomes a writer –
which we will still need in the 24 th century! –
and tells stories.
First they are the stories he makes up,
then the stories that are real,
about cowardice in a war zone,
about misguided bravery, misguided kids,
about politics under occupation,
even if that last never makes it past the occupiers -
and he is naïve enough to be surprised by this,
and I love that – because those who tell the truth,
in the 21 st century, or the 24 th ,
need to be a tiny bit naïve. It helps with survival.
Claire Hennessy is a writer, editor, book reviewer, and creative writing facilitator based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the author of twelve books for young people, and her most recent YA novels Like Other Girls and Nothing Tastes As Good are published by Hot Key Books. Her work has been nominated for the Irish Book Awards and the Carnegie Medal.