more time travel

The Antique Consumer


It’s always winter somewhere.  Our glaciers retreat and advance, pushing the earth into grimy ridges, sullen furrows.

She tells me I can’t write about this, like this – it’s just not done – she’s so earnest, leaning forward over the desk.

I’m in this store at the bottom of a hill, counting my arm scars, watching, through the store’s back window, the old pines on the hill, naked

and scruffy at the bottom near their roots, but light blue and deep green and violet
at their tops, slowly waving, all of them. I can’t feel

the breeze in the shop; it’s hot and closed and dusty.  There are some sentences you should just stay away from.

The knobby, polished pine floor boards seem shrunken, as if they’ve moved away from each other.  Here and there in the gaps, clumps of dust and thread stuck on splinters. What to do with this whole mess.

As I read about them, I imagine what the animals smelled like.  I hear them huffing and snorting, see their breath rise in the morning.   I try to build a corral, or I try to plan to build a corral, using scissors, paper and a little bit of charcoal.

Dark books mount the corner shelves, warped by water, delicate, cookie-crumb edged.

Old glass bottles on the windowsill, lumpy with light-colored dirt and white
residue inside their necks.  Square or round, violet or light blue,

none of them bigger than my hand.  Snow.   Carrots.  A shaggy
brown pony named Snoopy.

A ticking in the walls,
as if a determined
insect or small machine.

When I fall to the floor, I put my eye to the gap between boards.

And past floating curls of dust, in the dim, I see you looking, or what looks like you, a wooden key just out of reach.

In which the psychoanalytical is manifested in the physical. In the future, I will know what to do with these hands.


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