How to Profit As Copper Becomes the New Gold
We have no more leaders, only rulers who live in another country. I don’t ask why my cousin’s hand is bandaged, what he’s been burning, what’s tarped in his truck. I say I don’t watch the news but last night I dreamt I was Jesus Christ, and you know the worst part? My cousin stares at me. He shakes his head. I say you ever think about the pressure? Mess up once, and then what? Start over? My cousin laughs. His teeth are awful. I wouldna lasted long, he says. Got any coffee?
I cut up little squares of baloney, fry him a soft omelet he won’t eat. He wants to use my phone. I say they shut it off. I know he doesn’t believe me but he doesn’t push it.
At the door he says better not, he needs a shower. I hug him anyway. He’s heat and bones and stink but still tall enough to rest his chin on my head. He says nothing. I nod against his chest. When he pulls away his sleeve catches the latch. I say wait wait and he stops and smiles the way he does now, so you can’t see his teeth, and lets me free him.
Our needs are a far smoke rising. It’s eight o’clock, the scrapyards will be open. I wonder what they’re paying for copper. I’m late for work but I scrape his plate. I don’t want to come home to these dirty dishes.
Mark Reep is an artist and writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Art Collector, A-Minor, Right Hand Pointing, Endicott Journal, Blue Fifth Review, Prick of the Spindle, Metazen, Moon Milk Review, Camel Saloon, Big City Lit, and Word Riot’s 10th anniversary anthology. He is the former editor of Ramshackle Review, and lives and works in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Visit his website and blog .