Thursday, August 27, 2009
Cell Phones, Street Lights, Something Like Honey
Debbie put her cell phone in a clear glass.
She put her hand over the glass and tried
to think of other things. Dinosaurs. Cats.
Skinny-dipping in a Wisconsin lake.
Debbie didn’t see it when it happened.
There was no sound. The glass under her hand
didn’t shake or roll or bounce up and down.
Although she didn’t see it or hear it
or feel it, Debbie knew when it happened.
Inside the clear glass under her fingers
her cell phone had changed into brown liquid.
Debbie knew, too, if she touched her finger
to the liquid and touched it to her tongue
the liquid would taste wonderfully sweet.
Like honey. And if a lab tested it
they would present a computer printout
with chemicals itemized and conclude
the liquid actually was honey.
“Good trick,” Debbie’s friend said after watching.
Debbie held out both hands, palms up, empty.
“The phone’s gone,” Debbie said. “It changed. No trick.”
Debbie can’t twitch her nose and make money.
She can’t whisper at clouds and make a storm.
She can’t bend spoons or accelerate growth
in marigolds or guess which card you pick.
But if you have an unwanted cell phone
Debbie can change it into five or six
tablespoons of something like real honey
that tastes very good on a slice of bread.
“So do you think it’s magic?” her friend asked.
“I don’t know what the fuck it is,” she said.
“I don’t even have a theory. Weird, huh?”
Debbie’s friend once knew somebody who could
make street lights switch off by walking near them.
That person, too, hadn’t known what the fuck
was going on with street lights switching off.
That person, too, didn’t have a theory.
“It’s weird,” Debbie’s friend agreed. He said, “Yes.”