ZACHARY SCHOMBURG


 
 
COSTA RICA

With  the  money  we  get  for  the couch,  we
buy a little house on the beach.  There is no
couch inside.   We buy  our couch back,  but
have to sell the house to do it.   This cycle is
how   we  keep  on  living.    We  never  grow
poor, and we never age. We never really get
to know each other. We find some cats and
they  die  in  a  series  of shivery fits,  right in
front of us, as if to congratulate us on being
human.
 
 
 
 
BUILDING OF UNSEEN CATS

When  I  woke  up,  it   was  the  middle  of  the
night   and   my    building   was  on   fire.   The
hallway  was not filled with smoke,   and  then
quickly  it  was.   I   rescued  a  few  older  men
from their bathtubs,  a  few  babies  from  their
cribs.  Outside,   the   air  was  filled   with  hair.
Everyone but  me  was holding  a plastic cage
with  a cat  in it.  We weren’t supposed to have
cats  in  my  building,  but  there  they  all were,
an invisible nation  suddenly  uncurtained into
a blinding and  brutal world.  Everyone  looked
at me with a face that said let’s never speak of
this.  Let’s  not  look  directly  at what  is meant
to   be   loved   in   secret.   Let’s,  for  example,
imagine  the  sea  is  always,  constantly,  and
forever     spilling     toward      us,     that      our
screaming    building    is     something   worth
escaping.
 
 
 
 
THE PERSON WHO WAS EXPECTED

A man  is sitting  at a table.  A woman  says can I
sit   with  you?
  The  man  says  sorry,  but   I  am
expecting   someone
.   The   woman   sits   down
anyway  and  says I  am  your wife.  No, no, you’re
not  my  wife,  but  you  do  look  familiar
 says the
man.  I think I  am your  father.  The woman  says
oh no, you’re not my father, you’re my son. Where
have  you been?
 They stare  at one  another until
the  person  who  was  expected   shows  up  and
hands  the  man  a  magic  baby.  It  grows  in  his
hands. Its   hair  spreads  across   the  floor.  This
makes   sense.   The  four   of   them   live   in  the
future   where  everything   makes  perfect   sense
under a blue crying beam of bird-light.
 
 
 
 
THE KILLING TREES

There is  one  tree for every person,  and  the
trees have  all started  falling on  the  person
they’ve  grown  tall  to fall  on,  crushing  their
people’s skulls into the ground. I take a train
to the forest and stand before the tallest tree.
It’s time I tell it, but it keeps standing. When I
try  chopping  it  down,  a  cloud  falls  on me,
and  then  a  burning  airplane,  and  then my
mother  and  father, and  then  more  burning
airplanes.
 
 
 
 
 



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