You Are a Terrible Home Surgeon
While mowing the lawn, a small bird flew into my chest and stuck there. It’s America. I can’t afford health insurance. I said, I need you to remove it. It’s not that unusual. I had a friend cure his son’s depression with a fork and an electrical socket and do you remember the article in the paper last summer about the woman who pulled a giant splinter from her husband’s heart? You grabbed the scissors and began to hack. You are a terrible home surgeon. You removed only the wings and a fleshy chunk of the body. The beak you left behind is still submerged in my lung. It won’t stop singing its incessant song.
The Heart Attack
I was visiting with my aunt and uncle. While having a heated discussion about the upcoming presidential election, my uncle, who was leaning against the stove, put his hand to his chest, went pale, then collapsed onto the kitchen floor. Upon impact, he burst open like a water balloon dropped by some mischievous children from a rooftop. My uncle, who had just been arguing in favor of tax breaks and limited government was now a giant pool of blood and guts at my feet. My aunt screamed, we have to save him! We have to save him! She pointed to the utility closet and ordered me to grab the mop and bucket. In attempt to comfort her I wrapped my arms around her and whispered, he’s gone. There was nothing we could do. She pushed me away and grabbed the drinking straw out from a fountain soda on the counter. She got down on her hands and knees and began sucking up my dead uncle as if he were a Bloody Mary. I’d heard my mother gossip about my aunt’s drinking—I wasn’t surprised.
The Lemon Law
For her sixteenth birthday her parents bought her a Ford Escort from the Car Palace. It became a problem. Within weeks, it began stalling at every stoplight, all the gauges stopped working, and the muffler fell off—we had to use coat hangers to keep it attached. Still, that summer, we drove to Lincoln Woods almost every night, parked under the tree that she thought resembled Abraham Lincoln, and fucked until our bodies gave out. Then we’d crack the rear windows, suck in the cool air, and lay silently under the judgment of the moon. It was the first month of our junior year of high school when we told her parents she was pregnant. Her mother cried and kept mumbling, my baby, my baby. Her father stared as us and began citing the state’s Lemon Law. They have to take it back, he kept saying.