They arrive just after the mail slides into my basement. Gruesome, pieces that portend the ends, pieces that illuminate the furnace with a band of indomitable cream: I dream about employment at the mouse trap factory, where my father and my father’s father worked, but I was born with hapless eyes and the attention of a gemstone. Treat me better, my legs whisper, don’t grind me to tent pegs the way the viejos have
in fact turn your eyes for in the divided you will find the emblem of a bog, the self-easing vine, the indent of wind.
I am an exceptional liar, I told the owner of the mouse trap factory.
He smiled as though I hinted at some quality for increasing sales. I will completely deceive you, I clarified, and now he rose from his desk and stood by the window. A crate of springs went by. The factory had once manufactured cast iron pans.
I can still hire you, he said and named a role on the outskirts of production. As a favor to Clement.
I am shocked by how many people tell me I should read something without asking whether I’ve read it. Hold these interchanges like a dishrag and watch the dust wander off. I saw a pile of every book I had not read
and beneath it were the peoples who lived without writing or counting
the biggest springs they buy come from a plant down south, a hundred meters from the mines where they extract the ore and the earth is discussed in terms of seams
could I cut it there, working the lights, a pile of fingernails by the door, yanking walking sticks from the ashes and arguing whether the handle is a horse or a snake.