Fourteen-gauge fishing line.
Skin that stretches like rose-colored silk.
A metal skull, thunking against my kitchen table.
Her other cheek.
Articulated joints that moan and creak.
The one in her wrist that catches and almost tears through.
A small styrofoam cooler filled with dry ice and organs.
Two fists of incense sticks.
Fringed edges of her gangly legs, sheared away by a jersey wall.
A soldering iron with a twist of smoke.
A clutch of red, yellow and green wire.
Six fuses of varying colors.
A pink and white stargazer lily, dried and spritzed with lacquer, left over from her mother’s.
Two cases of paper towels.
Rolls of masking tape, a complementary cream to her skin.
Eight bulbs from an old thread of our Christmas lights.
Half a bat of fiberglass-free insulation, also left over from her mother’s.
A case of WD-40.
Two-hundred twenty volts to help her stand.
A wobbling gait that could be from her soccer injuries.
A shuffled step that could be from too much studying.
A crookedly-held elbow that could be from her grandmother.
A splash of freckles that could be sprayed oil or too much sun.
A cool whisper that could be pneumatics.
A slight wink that could be seizing.
A ______ ___ _____ that could be her mother’s.
A hole in the face that could be recognition.
A slash in the skin that could be a smile.
A thin, brittle hope that it could work this time.
Nik Korpon is the author of Stay God, Old Ghosts and By the Nails of the Warpriest (August 2011). His stories have appeared in Crime Factory, Do Some Damage, Cherry Bleeds, 3:AM and more. He reviews books for The Nervous Breakdown and Spinetingler Magazine. He lives in Baltimore. More nonsense at nikkorpon.com.