I keep a woman in my kitchen
cupboard beside the cereal. She eats
Kellogg’s Cornflakes all day and keeps
a garden under an artificial
sun. I flew here on the back
of a bird, strapped in with chewing gum
and scotch tape, she tells me.
But I know it isn’t true. I found her
at a Costco in the suburbs where she begged
to be brought downtown.
I wasn’t like this when I flew
on the back of the bird
she says. Dr. Finestine diagnosed
me with mild depression last week, but
because I’m so small, I feel it so big.
I’m so small I see happiness,
flecks of it floating through space,
but there’s none of it here, just the noise
the refrigerator makes. This place
should be sealed off then demolished.
In her teacup bath that afternoon, I ask her
to please quit this flying on the back
of a bird thing. There are so many holes
inside your heart, I’m short on supplies to
stop them up. Her face flattens
and folds like it’d been smashed
with the back of a frying pan.
She pulls out her pubic hair, a tuft
in each hand. Shampoo, specially formulated
for people under seven inches,
runs down her face. She unscrunches
her fists and offers the hairs to me
like each one is the physical form of a prayer.
I flew on the back of a bird, she says, strapped
into place with chewing gum and tape.