The Sizes and Shapes of Things
In your leaving, you took the hammer and removed all the nails you
could find. Into the toolbox they went, next to the screws from the
door hinges, all of the light switches, the television remote control,
the knobs for the stove burners.
Night comes, and mud frogs chirp in your voice from the hole where the
porch was. A fallen trellis lies on its back over the joists; morning
glories crawl over its belly.
You took things in your leaving, things I now have to replace. I act
out the sizes and shapes of things in a game of charades with the
hardware store clerk. This long, maybe, the screws? He offers up
several, but I don't know which is right.
I go home and get a barren hinge, tote it to the screw aisle, try
various sizes for fit and function. I buy the screws but steal the
nails, just a couple of each dropped into a jacket pocket. Fair is fair.
You took my panties, my pillows, towels, blankets, things that have
felt me naked. You took my right shoes, so to passers-by I have two
left feet in unmatched sandals.
Two days later and the doors hang crooked but protective and the nails
are all replaced. Dawn comes and there is a desperate rustling under
the porch. The trellis is a foot too short and the joists are uneven.
What was meant to be a ladder for morning glories is now a green and
flowering coffin for frogs.
Beth Thomas lives in Las Vegas. Her fiction has appeared in PANK, Los Angeles Review, Corium
Read more of her work in the archive.
Detail of art on main page courtesy
of Sarah G.
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