Sophie Klahr

The Vending Machine Sells Space

With all of us working overtime for the holidays, in the morning there are only two spaces left—both vague, expensive, medicinal citrus. I like best the space for 75 cents that tastes like chlorine and smooths everything quiet. It is a popular space in our office.


Two days before Christmas the vending company man is refilling the machine knelt on one knee like a sad knight before the spiral wires, his spider-hands unpacking the spaces. I want to knock him over kick him steal every last space in his sack.


Fucking Jimmy! He has an awful taste in space and I don’t know why I trust him with my change, believing he’ll know the right kind of space to deliver me during peak hours when I’m nailed here on the phone with my headset / drowning in terrible music.


Space bustling. Space broken. Space pink but not abloom. Abstract space to protect architects. Animal space. Airplane space for increased leg room. Fuck space. Dank space. A space to fart with no one knowing. A space to bleed anywhere for an extra eight cents. I shake the machine. It swallows.


One day I buy a space to bring home. The cat shudders away from it. It fills up the room all golden and rattling.

Sophie Klahr's poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications such as Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Gulf Coast, Linebreak, and Sycamore Review. She is the poetry editor of Gigantic Sequins. She currently lives in Los Angeles. 

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