Saturday, February 8, 2014

Garage Sale by Ally Malinenko

They start out small, nervous with detail,
labeling with a felt tip marker
the price on each little china plate.
The ink spreads like a plant root
digging through so much soil paper,
like a seashell
a sensation.
What a memory,
this life,
What agony,
what history laid out on the cheap
plastic tables.
No one wants this, he says,
lowball offers on someone else’s
memories. Save your money,
he yells to the woman with the felt tip.
This is overconsumption.
A breath between
the things that we want
and the things that we fear we need.
A breath we think might save our lives.
I lift the doll from the table.
Trace a finger over her pursed lips,
plastic needles form eyelashes,
half missing,
lost somewhere in the backyard.
Her chipped finger,
un-stitched body
tufts of grey wiry loose.
What desperation
what soft hands,
tilted her back,
so often.
Wordless plastic pursed lips,
one eye closes
one stays open
staring right up into the sun.


Ally Malinenko has been writing for awhile now and occasionally she gets things published. She is the author of the poetry collection The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press) and the children’s novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Antenna Books). She lives in the part of Brooklyn recently voted to have the best halal truck.

Street artist unknown.
Photo by Adam Lawrence.

Vancouver-based band Wake Owl are releasing their debut full-length album The Private World of Paradise on March 4th via Vagrant Records. "Letters" is the second single from the forthcoming release.

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