Ange Mlinko is the author of Marvelous Things Overheard: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).
Sunday takes us to the relic-boxes of small Texas towns, their shops of Sears and Roebuck sewing machine stands, bordello bedframes, and scrap-metal lawn art: a butterfly stakes a Spartan garden with pollen rust. Learning the hard way not to touch even the brass panel of a swinging entrance door to cold beer a rose catheterizing a vase, bloom achieved. None of these wheel-hoops made overseas, none of the wind bearing signals toward receivers. "What are you, unremember-prone?" But as a clock-spring's reincarnated in an obnoxious doorknob, squint-squeal, a drawer is shaking out again its rubber bands, nails, batteries, twists, razor blades, shoelaces, coupons, q-tips, to jerry-rig the butterfly a sunflower. That's to say the armored flower these Sabbath-shut antique shops show me in mirrors. With a castle of black iron, very Louise Nevelson, gears and ratchets and half-moon windows in turrets buffered by a wall of copper beech, a moat of black mondo grass and borders of purple wandering jew. If I thread the screw in that will hold the weight of this world upon the wall, the mirrors of the antique shops and the antique shops themselves protest that we're not unpacked. That we may not be before the buzzards sink, empty ink cartridges of those translucent claws. Not fully.
Copyright © 2010 by Ange Mlinko. Used by permission of the author.