Fairy Tale

My father cuts off his thumb with a circular saw.

A tiny magical man makes me an offer.


I cannot refuse. My father’s thumb grows back.

The price I have agreed to pay is too great;


I cannot bear to say its name aloud. In the corner

of every room I enter, the tiny magical man


crouches, nameless and cruel. Not today, he says.

Not today. One day, I will enter a room and he will


not be there, and I will know the bill has come due.

A phone will ring. I will answer. A stranger’s voice


will mispronounce my name, apologize,

hesitate. In this brief silence, foolish hope will bloom.


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