Patty Yumi Cottrell
—Come into my cabin set upon the four poles, said the little
girl. Settle here, please.
I only went up the ladder because I needed a place to stay. At the
time, I felt sturdy and light like a portable log. I was not driftwood;
I did not wash ashore.
—What is this use of the four poles? I asked. After all, the
town has not seen a flood in a century.
The little girl leaned back into a grey chair made of sticks and
—While that may be true, she said, you have yet to consider
the possibility of a fire.
An old man sitting in the courtyard hands you a key. The old man
introduces himself as the gardener.
—Go in, he says. It's yours now.
Your inheritance is in the shape of a nested octagon. In the basement
is a well, unused for some centuries, and known as the deepest well in
town. You drop down a stone and a dull speech about crime and
punishment echoes back. You toss in your shoe and a dreadful play about
powdered wigs and minuets sounds forth.
It is a cruel house and has seen the deaths of many failed poets before
Patty Yumi Cottrell's work has appeared in elimae
Genius. She has a chapbook,
The Drawers (Green Gallery Press, Milwaukee), with images by artist Amy
Detail of art on main page courtesy
of Ricardo Lago.
W i g l e a f