i read a story about mayflys
born on the banks
of the mississippi. they
swarmed and housed
in wisconsinite gas stations,
on the edges of bridges,
and only days later,
passed. just a memory.
i paid thirteen dollars
for my hair to be this thick.
we met at the liquor store.
i bought him cider and took him to my house.
i unpacked the bottles. he packed his pipe
and let me smoke.
we talked of nothing for two hours.
my head was a fishbowl.
he said, “i think i have to cut this meeting
i asked if we would hang out again.
he gave no straight answer. “text me
what you’re doing
tomorrow.” “i’ll see what i’m up to.”
i showed him the
he only shook my hand.
the next morning i worked.
a little girl came into the store
with her mother and older brother.
she and him strayed away to the sale wallets.
she played with the ones she could reach
and pulled a black one from the basket and
examined her finding like petrified wood.
“ooh!” she exclaimed. “there’s an eyeball.”
her brother took it and tried to find
what she saw.
“no, no,” she said when he took too long.
she pointed to the flap: an eyeball-shaped pendant,
green pupil, orange whites,
kept the wallet closed.
every time you look at it,
the eye can say, in no words at all,
just by existing,
keep me closed.
do you really need to spend money on this?
he’ll last as long as mayflys.
Murray Dunsmore writes art.