Errands

by | Jun 9, 2020 | Issue Fifteen

When the apocalypse comes,

I’ll write my grocery lists

in ash on the fallout shelter walls. I didn’t mean to say ash.

I meant to say something more forgivable, something held fragilely

like an antique phrase,

like spring’s tides of marigold, something to be replaced

at an undetermined date.

My tailor covers the indifference of our minutes with aphorisms and his royal use of we—

“we gain more from restraint than profligacy”—, his wrinkle-bound face upturned,

begging me to differ,

his hand wagging the needle like an obscenity,

pricking my conscience

with his unrepentant compassion. Which is only fitting.

One time he told me that, no matter who we are, there’ll come a time

when someone wants to sleep with us, and there’ll come a time

when someone takes a knife to us,

and most likely it’ll be the same person— but I was staring at one of his mannequins as he adjusted my cuffs,

and the bell over the door chimed, heralding his next appointment.

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