Miah Jeffra

First Love: A

Aram   (âr’ŭm).  1. In the Old Testament, an ancient country of southwest Asia, roughly coextensive with present-day Syria.  2. A common name among males in Armenia.  3. In this case, lean and bronze, with amber eyes that pulled me into the horizon.  4. I could never pronounce it correctly – only his mother could – but she liked me anyway, and allowed me to call him the Colorado River instead.

arbitrary  (är’bĭ-trĕr’ē) adj.   1. Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle.  2. Based on or subject to individual judgment or preference: his choice to be a musician was arbitrary3. Not limited by law; despotic.

SYNONYMS: arbitrary, capricious, whimsical.  The central meaning shared by these adjectives is “determined by or arising from whim or caprice rather than judgment or reason”: an arbitrary decision; a capricious refusal; the butt of whimsical persecution.

arborization  (är’bür-ĭ-zā’shün) n.   1. A branching, treelike shape or arrangement, as that of the dendrite of a nerve cell.   2. The formation of a treelike shape or arrangement.

arc    (ärk)   n.   1.   Something shaped like a curve or an arch: the vivid arc of a rainbow.     2.   Mathematics.    A segment of a circle.     3. Electricity.    A luminous discharge of current that is formed when a strong current jumps a gap in a circuit or between two electrodes.    4.   Astronomy.    The apparent path of a celestial body as it rises above and falls below the horizon.

arcane  (är-kān’) adj.  Known or understood only by a few.  See Synonyms at mysterious.

archaic  (är-kā’ĭk)  also archaical  (är-kā-ĭ-kül) adj1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a much earlier, often more primitive period: an archaic bronze statuette2. No longer current or applicable; antiquated.  3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of words and language that were once common but are now used chiefly to suggest something that once was, but no longer: I should have seen it coming.

[paper, words, finite objects, and something always comes after.]

archell  (är-kël) n.   1. The feeling of being betrayed, particularly in the condition of lustful advances toward those understood to be forbidden, by social qualm.   2.  I mean, totally off-limits cheating, and, certainly, with the kind of person that would evoke the deepest of breaks, the bone shard in the gut tissue, in order to demonstrate sexual power, superiority:  “I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful dammit.”

archetype  (är’kĭ-tīp) n1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: “’Frankenstein’…’Dracula’…’Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’…the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories” (New York Times).  2. An ideal example of a type; quintessence.

arctic  (ärk’tĭk) adj.  Extremely cold; frigid.  See Synonyms at cold.

– ard  or  – art  suff.  One that habitually or excessively is in a specified condition or performs a specified action: drunk-ard; cheat-ard; fuckt-ard.

arduous  (är’jû-ës) adj1. Demanding great effort or labor; difficult: “the arduous work of preparing a Dictionary of the English Language” (Macauley).  2. Testing severely     powers of                      ; strenuous: a          , arduous, and exhausting      
                           .  3. Hard to traverse,             , or surmount: “you will never own me, Miah” (Aram).

arenicolous  (ăr’ë-nĭkë-lës) adj.                   , living, or burrowing in sand.

ar•gue    (är’gyû) v.    1. To put forth reasons for or against; debate.    2. To attempt to prove by reasoning; maintain or contend.   3. To persuade or influence (another), as by presenting reasons: “I wanted to…but you wouldn’t understand, not then” (both of us, maybe).

arid  (ăr’ĭd) adj.   2. Lacking interest or feeling; lifeless and dull: I would never give the satisfaction, not in words.

[there are a lot of definitions, here.  the precision, more security than the cup of a palm to face.  I guess]

arise  (ë-rīz) intr.v.   1. To get up; as from a sitting or prone position; rise.  2.  To move upward; ascend.  3. To come into being; originate: hoped that new spirit of freedom was arising4. To result, issue, or proceed: well, what else is there?  Really.  What else?  Can one arise from a river?
                                     See Synonyms at stem.

[only pages believe the word truly lasts forever.]


Miah Jeffra is author of four books—most recently the short story collection The Violence Almanac (finalist for several awards, including the Grace Paley and St. Lawrence Book Prizes) and the novel American Gospel, winner of the Clark-Gross Award—and co-editor, with Arisa White and Monique Mero, of the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart. Work can be seen in StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, The North American Review, Barrelhouse, DIAGRAM, storySouth, jubilat, and many others. Miah is co-founder of Whiting Award-winning queer and trans literary collaborative, Foglifter Press, and teaches writing and decolonial studies at Sonoma State University.