1. A Toothbrush
Our borrowed American optimism leaves us dizzy,
eyes rolling in the back of our heads, aching
like throbbing hearts, decaying ruins, ground-down teeth.
2. A Child’s Shoe
We rearrange birthmarks, tracing routes across each other’s back,
mapping out the way to Chicago, home to no one,
where the cold will peel back our skin like an onion,
3. A Guitar Pick
Fragments of song linger in the still air.
The tinny echoes of forgotten strings drift,
abandoned between worlds, turning back to earth
only to sigh in disappointment.
4. A Broken Watch
In the sky, colors crack, splintering
into firewood to be collected and saved for a long winter evening.
But those nights drowning in grays and blues are far away from this place
where time is alien.
5. A Passport
The desert expands like our regret. Shadeless,
it succumbs to the persistent thirst of unmarked graves,
swallowing all prayers.
But the barren land lies–
for we are not alone out here.
6. A Nail Clipper
Silence weighs on our backs, hunched, hands
spilling forward, ready to break the fall,
ready to break.
7. A Juice Carton
Spit drips from licked wounds.
Though the scars are barely visible, they are deep enough
to feel when she outlines them with the tips of her fingers.
8. A Tube of Hair Gel
Dawn yawns languidly, stinging like scorched skin.
Dirt rises like an apparition, coating our bodies, clinging to sweat.
We are half human half earth, but the desert reminds us that
we do not belong here.
9. 16 GB Flash Drive
At night, venomous tears leave us convulsing,
talking to memories of people. People we once knew
who undertook this same journey years ago.
10. A Used Sanitary Napkin
This is the country where the moon foams, spilling
onto the cracked elephant-skin earth, and wild dogs appear
like angels drooling ivory.
They bark hymns that recede into the night,
verses and stories that can never be captured
Gisella Faggi has had short fiction published in several magazines, including Emerge Literary Journal, Gray Sparrow Journal, and The Sand Hill Review. She calls Philadelphia, Rome, and Chicago home.