The man carrying a door on his back resembles an insect crawling across the pavement. Excuse me, he says to a stranger, do you want to buy my door? My grandfather stole it from prison when he escaped. Before that it belonged to a brothel. No, the stranger replies, prison doors are bad luck. But brothel doors are good luck, the man with the door responds. The stranger walks away.
The man carrying a door on his back can’t stand up straight or turn his head to see the man carrying a window on his back.
The man carrying a window on his back resembles a streetlight reflected in a puddle. Excuse me, he says to the man with the door, do you want to buy my window, it belonged to my sister she jumped out of it when she was fifteen. Before that it belonged to a church. A suicide window is bad luck, says the man with the door. But a church window is good luck, the man with the window responds.
They trade their burdens the same way the man with a chimney becomes the man with a staircase on his back looking for anyone who wants to climb it.
“The Soup of Something Missing,” Bear Star Press Cohasset, CA, 2004
Quarterly West, University of Utah, No. 47, 1998-99