“Nurse normal,” the swain says every time the baby cries. “Like the cows do.”
Nurse normal with the naïve genius of the squat.
Nurse the merely dumb who can neither mumble nor squeak.
Nurse the bland and faint who wake to the scent of scones and mussels, who hate you and your mammaries, who have nothing to throw at you, not even a fit.
“Sweet, aren’t they sweet?” he says, counting on the fingers of this hand with the index finger of that: 1. a zipper for the left leg; 2. velcro for the right; 3. a hook for the left arm; 4. a tie for the right; and 5. very best of all, a staple for the head.
COOPER RENNER is the translator of Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions by Mario Bellatin and the author of Mosefolket (poems, under the name Cooper Esteban). His website is at cooprenner.com.