THE MORT­GAGE BRO­KER ASKS FOR MY NET IN­COME FROM THE PRE­VI­OUS YEAR

Geist - - Findings -

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.

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