Party Favor

When you see the overturned trailer on the beach, you know the Party knows it’s your birthday. It must be a gift: there’s a TV inside that in time you’ll learn to watch sideways, and a carton of Lucky Squids. You notice a man, a slight man with a gray mustache, standing on a wall calendar and watching the unplugged TV. When you walk in front of him, he steps first left, then right, eyes fixed on the dark screen. You say Hello but he ignores you. You offer him a Lucky Squid. Dinner is at a steak house, authentic American style. The chairs are very tall, but you pull up your feet and sit cross-legged because of the bull that wanders among the tables. His horns look sharp. Waiting for the food, everyone works on a big wooden puzzle of the States. You’re good at it, but you wonder if Michigan should be one piece or two. The sea hisses and rumbles, hisses and rumbles. A young couple plays badminton on the beach with Uncle McDonald and Captain Kentucky while the sun sets over the impossible sea. In the trailer you search the horizontal jumble for paper and ink and a brush. You must fill out forms for the trailer and the TV and the little man, but the questions are confusing, and in the end you realize that they are printed backwards—you’ve been writing on the wrong side. You know the cadres could change their mind tomorrow, declare you a rotor or an element and order the trailer dragged away. You know you would stand in the traces and pull along with the rest.

Roy White is a blind person who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a lovely woman and a handsome dog. His poems and essays have appeared in BOAAT Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Lascaux Review and elsewhere, and he blogs at https://lippenheimer.wordpress.com.

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