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221 Plastic Man mark wisniewski he was somewhere down there my grandmother said a plastic man who bowled down a miniature lane made of real wood one day we’d find him & then we’d have fun in the meantime his alley was covered with boxes of things bought at auctions: carburetors bolts of lace rusted hardware buttons a machine that covered buttons with fabric that could match your dress or sport coat flood-stained wrapping paper office supplies & more the boxes were stacked some reaching the ceiling they created their own walls three aisles among them until more boxes meant two 222 ecotone l a & then one they waited for the future & made the basement stink pleasantly of cardboard & after my grandmother died the last aisle grew shorter & shorter until it stretched four feet at most the last purchase in it a used fire extinguisher & my grandfather would still sometimes go down there moving aside what he could to find what he now hoped to sell his wrists tight never answering me as he’d look for his things & I’d stand on those stairs finding it hard to believe that somewhere inside was a man small plastic frozen already grinning for the nickel he needed to work ...


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pp. 221-222
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