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K E L S I E H A H N - N O T C RY O G E N I C S

I’m here at Jerome’s house party out of a mix of pity and a desire to small talk with a pretty secretary from work, and now he has trapped me in the kitchen for a pseudo-philosophical ramble. I’m intent on the gin and tonic in my hand and the vaguely Scandinavian pattern on his baggy sweater. “Let me show you what I mean,” he says, and my eyes drift back to his face. He opens his freezer and pulls out a plastic bag, frost-rimed and tightly wound around something dark. He unwraps the bag to make the contents clearer —it looks like something he might have cleaned out of a gutter. “This is my parrot, Withers,” he says. “He’s dead. This is what it’s like when we die—we’re just dead. We could be in a freezer or the ground or an urn, it doesn’t make any difference. He doesn’t know any better. Neither do we. No joy. No pain. Just peace.” I look more closely, and the shape begins to take on parrot-like qualities. A bramble of claws, a dry slit for an eye. The matted gray detritus could be feathers. “Yep,” I say. “It’s important to remember,” Jerome says. He rewraps the corpse and places it tenderly back into the freezer next to a carton of peach sherbet. The next day, of course Jerome dies. Struck by lightning. Like a freak. I sign a sympathy card with vague condolences. Then word gets around the office that his elderly mother needs help cleaning out his house so she can sell it—he has no siblings, no cousins. Nobody young and able-bodied. So the pretty and, it turns out, soft-hearted secretary sends around a sign-up sheet for volunteers to help with the house, and that’s how I find myself at his house, again, losing 10

Profile for SprinGun Press

Springgun Issue 8  

POEMS by CHRIS CAROSI LAURA MINOR BRITT GAMBINO SUSAN LEWIS SETH LANDMAN ADAM VEAL SALLY MOLINI FRANCESCO LOVATO LAUREN EGGERT-CROW...

Springgun Issue 8  

POEMS by CHRIS CAROSI LAURA MINOR BRITT GAMBINO SUSAN LEWIS SETH LANDMAN ADAM VEAL SALLY MOLINI FRANCESCO LOVATO LAUREN EGGERT-CROW...

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