Lena

The shantytowns began along the outskirts of her organs, like neighborhoods of a newly minted megalopolis, the rural poor moved into her looking for work.

Lena thought, I’m flattered, but I don’t have much in the way of industry.
Lena thought, I’m not in manufacturing; I’m not a tourist economy.

After the shanties crept up her esophagus and into her mouth she felt guilty brushing her teeth.
After the shanties moved into her mouth she didn’t know what to do.

Then a man showed up from the shantytown. He asked her for some change.
She asked him what neighborhood he was from.
He said, “The space between the lungs.”
She asked him what it was like there.
He said, “It’s nothing special.”
She said, “Tell me about it, I want to know about between the lungs.”
He said, “The kids play football down near the sternum. We make great stews. We eat all together. After dinner we play music on homemade instruments.”
“What do you do for work,” she said?
“There is no work. There’s no tourism. There’s no manufacturing. There’s no tech industry.”
“Why did you move here then,” she said?

 

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Leif Haven lives in Northern California because of the trees. His work has appeared & will appear, etc. He is responsible for the publishing venture Persistent Editions, which makes chapbooks. Other things. Other things. Other things