THE MORTGAGE BROKER ASKS FOR MY NET INCOME FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR
From Beautiful Children With Pet Foxes by Jennifer Lovegrove. Published by Bookthug in 2017. Lovegrove is the author of four books, including Watch How We Walk, which was longlisted for the 2014 Giller Prize. She lives in Toronto.
One frantic downpour phone call several million drops of rain three stricken siblings four hours fishtailing two different hospitals thirty-six stitches thirteen staples (for luck!) one missing hatchet and we three deserters dreaming of our own cold bunkers deep down under the dirt.
One small-town police station glinting quartz-like among a thousand marching rows of corn, tobacco, canola one smirking front desk cop two plexiglass eyes flickering cold wet gun rot my name in his mouth and
Do you want me to bring her up?
Desperate, I show off my two double-jointed thumbs then slide six lit torches down my throat like a citizen, like a taxpayer— Is this what you mean by resale value?
Two looming lean meat morning cops one hour early as I shower off the previous day hoping I’ll dry into someone else, someone kind with actual feelings maybe a vegetarian or a washcloth
I yell to my brother
Go get my clothes!
The cops’ laughter like high school, like six more kicks to the gut amid fifty feet of yellow tape two tall shadows leering close and Please, sit down No thanks, I say
I’ll stand and I stand and stand and stand and stand and stand and stand and stand and I’m still standing.