Jarring

All lined up, on the shelf,

on that curious little shop in that hidden alley

that you’d have to know to find;

they sell antiques there, artifacts and relics

of days before reality television

and the home shopping network.

 

I heard there’s a box there where you can find

goodness and a parchment that contains

the scientific formula

for making love.

 

In one corner, they are all lined up,

sitting pretty on the old cedar shelf,

multi-colored jars of life’s little oddities:

 

that fat kid who can dance a storm

and always ends with a backflip

from a standing position.

His face is pressed against

the blue glass of his jar,

forcing a smile.

 

There’s that girl with bones

protruding from beneath her shoulder blades.

They say she was to sprout wings

but most people just say her father

was a stegosaurus.

Her hair floating in the formalin

like seaweed in a calm sea.

 

There’s the guy who has died twice.

Once by lightning and the other

by getting run over by the bicycle

he bought his son.

 

In a red jar, lying in fetal position

at the bottom, sleeps

the mother who was never awake

during Sundays.

 

And then there’s me.

The second jar from the bottom left

with the handle.

Eyes wide open and mouth in a silent scream.

 

The owner said I was bought a long time ago.

I’m another one of those purchases

long forgotten, left at the counter,

along with the change.

 

It’s an unfortunate truth

that not all the things we paid for

we get to bring home.

 

 

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