Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois




Circular Saw


We sat down at a table shaped like a heart. It reflected our mutual wish that we rekindle our love, which was as worn out as a Ford Fairlane abandoned on a New York City curb. The tables nearby were shaped like kidneys, gall bladders, livers, etc. There was a table made of coral shaped like a brain. The seats were as spongy as used lungs.

The people sitting at these tables looked uncomfortable. They were all couples hoping for better lives, but few of them believed that this café would serve them. The waitresses were missing most of their teeth, like those at the diner on Colfax in west Denver, near the prison and the cheap hotels and the neon encased building that buys plasma.

One of the lodgings was the Big Bunny Motel. It had been the Bugs Bunny Motel, but Warner Brothers had sued them. The owners hired someone to change the sign as cheaply as possible.

There were a lot of police calls to the Big Bunny Motel, and all the motels in its vicinity. I brought my child there to raise her when she was very small. I wanted her life to be remarkable in its capacity for redemption. In both Islam and Christianity, one must be reborn, a messy affair at best.

Smoke from the California wildfires is choking me, making my eyes run with copious tears. My daughter says: It is only pollution that brings out emotion in you.

I say, You’re right—that’s the way I was raised. And I have no interest in opening my heart—that would be too big a chore. First, I’d have to go to Home Depot and slice myself open with a Black & Decker circular saw.  It’s too late for me to open my heart—it’s not like quitting smoking, or something else that’s easy and fun.





Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over thirteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers Centre Prize (Australia) for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.


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