Alen Hamza

Once upon I wanted to be a fairy.

I bought myself a mask and you—

at the time I didn’t know your design—

a pickling jar. Grandma had said:

“What can be soaked, let water

sip. Add salt and time and wait.”

At grandma’s I’d spent happy kiddo

days. Sitting: me and her, and

god, I think. Eggy, the day. Melting

clarified butter’s in the pan, grandma’s

hands churning, cracked with time.

Across the street the electrician dawdles,

unhappy. Most of the town’s using

wood stoves for heat. Nearby

the hydroelectric dam purrs, the green

river buoyant and shirtless. It is 1988.

Of course you’re nowhere to be, or

found. I’m sent to storage to look.

In storage I become—a book!

Grandma lets god eat my egg.

It tickles, but at least I am

distracted, and no longer bound.

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