[ToC]

 

THE OTHER WORD FOR MONEY

Gina Keicher

Where did all of these salesmen come from? Nightly, conferences in my living room. One man in a gray suit waves spreadsheets in the air. Another takes a call. My father told me, "Everyone wants to sell you something." Then he moved across the country to feed us, to sell fixtures to supermarkets and drugstores. Each night, a parcel on my doorstep. Distance in a paper shell. Inside, a piggy bank swaddled in bubble paper, mummified and fit for travel. One swine for each state my father travels to on business. Tonight, I care about Nebraska. Tomorrow, I’ll be all about Wisconsin. I learn to say, I want to wreck a continent, several states will do for now. I am searching for an angle that makes the pig squeal upon impact, in other words, when the ceramic hits the wall. Within inches of the paint, each pig adapts and sprouts wings and fails to use them. To replace the pigs, I buy a hermit crab and invest in two extra shells for each one the crustacean will outgrow. The next time I speak to my father, I will thank him for renewing my faith in the impossible. The next time I pull off at a rest stop that turns out to be my family’s first house, I can admire its awning, the asparagus siding, the purple and teal slate stones bruising a path to the front door. I can roll all the car windows up and spend days sealed in the driveway, telling my pet hermit crab, "This looks like a good place to start a forest fire."

 

 

 

 

 


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Inspired by reading Maurice Kilwein Guevara’s Autobiography of So-and-so: Poems in Prose and too-long sessions wandering my childhood neighborhood on Google Earth.