Kris Kunz, Issue 16.2

In a Pinch

                    after Gerry LaFemina


Every day of my childhood, I wanted a horse

and last week the missing girl’s body was found, buried in sand.

Daydream the sound of metal in the morning, uncovering, getting

purchase on form and flesh, a silk banana cupped in steel

claws like a prayer—so firm and gentle, even my father, in the

sanctuary of his workshop, would have applauded the dexterity.

That horse could have taken me far away and into another

dimension, all mine, where dwarves could love me and

whistling heigh-ho, would really be whispering I love you.

All I ever wanted to do was fit in, like his screws, nails, nuts and

bolts, labeled and straightened on shelves in baby food jars,

but when they used the word chubby, I knew I’d have to smash

those jars to squeeze in—and don’t think I wouldn’t have.

At my dance recital. I wore pink tulle and a headband of pearls

that my mother made me. Oh, wait, that was my sister. I was backstage

in the coat room, eating a many-colored candy necklace, staining

my skin sweet. I wanted that horse with a bridle and reins

made from a candy chain, strung so strong, it would slingshot me gone.

Instead, I sat cross-legged, muffled and surrounded by wool, with my

birthday gift, Barbie’s best friend, Midge.

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