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Published: Thu Jul 1 2010
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Destruccion por un remolino del aire Xocomeel del Lago Atitlán / Destruction from a Vortex of the Xocomil Winds around Lake Atitlán (detail), 2014, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Over on Madison

Bad things are happening. A man with a clipboard came to my house last night to talk about the Clean Water Act. He reeked of WD-40. Are they allowed to do that now? Ring your bell and talk to you like that? Without trying to sell you an encyclopedia? That’s not all.


Over on Madison, they opened a new store. Natural Elements. Pillows and lotions and tiny bottles of who-knows-what. No umbrellas. No cigars. Someone sprayed perfume on me. Hot as ice and smelled like Almond Joy. My neck’s been itching ever since.


Rabbits are running wild around here. Chewed up my whole garden. Lettuce and beets down to the ground. Twenty of them out there at a time. One’s wearing a red dress. They leave the peas alone. What good are peas if I have no chocolate milk to pour on top?


Since the neighbors all moved out, it’s been quiet on the street. Just the Clean Water guy.


Can’t a person get a decent night’s sleep once in a while? Between the tractor-trailers and the marching band, I might have to do something.


How come I have to do everything? Am I the only one in the world with a brain? I’ve got the Water guy, the girl from the Natural store, ten dead rabbits—or is it one dead girl?—and the drum majorette on my kitchen floor waiting for me to clean up the mess.


That’s the trouble. When stuff starts to happen, one thing leads to the next.

Varsha Kukafka writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Painted Bride Quarterly, First Intensity, and other literary magazines. (updated 1/2010)

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