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.