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The neighbor called the house a box to put one’s belongings. I lived for months on two or three casserole recipes. They involved canned cream of mushroom. They involved the yield to feed dozens. I lived alone. We became believers in suspending conversation from light sockets, unwired. We believed in one-time offers. This place wasn’t built for the nightly news or the phases of the moon. I promise to move back to the perseverance state where the mailman reads the house numbers backwards.


I carry the misdelivered power bills through a thirty percent chance of broken Snapple bottles. We kept the lids, clicked them against our fingers. The newsletters discovered the power of a good cancellation. I believed, despite crime dogs and fried egg brains on drugs, that to postpone a basketball game was to invite the chaos of the day-old bakery. It involved smiley face stickers. It involved a three-wheeled shopping cart. The neighbor called the garage fridge a safe to put one’s clearance finds. 


KATIE BERGER, originally from Nebraska, lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Foothill, ditch, The Broken Plate, Steel Toe Review, Sugared Water, The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Time Travel: Theory and Practice was released by Dancing Girl Press in 2013.