The Day After ThanksgivingJenny Browne
Today enchiladas de pavo, tomorrow the dark meat gumbo, just now the pressing questions: Are there more revisions of turkey or ways to say Nabokov? Or If a day could grow an ironic moustache would this be it, heavy with effort, pie crumbles and the plastic handles of bright green-striped shopping bags? My arms already ache from carrying yesterday’s bird drowned in pan juice, thighs thick with grease, two sharp sage-flavored wings. No wonder Vladimir preferred butterflies, the delicate hinge opening and closing two silent doors of air, the perfect squares of a net with his name written on the handle. The walkers in this mall don’t seem to believe in irony, lifting their knees like blind men in neighborhoods where trees overstuff the sidewalks. The Russian smugglers on the train out of St. Petersburg shuffled their feet, took their moustaches seriously, their furs to the border, their hotdogs in two bites. Here you can buy Christmas lights stitched together like a fishing net to fling over square shrubs and haul in hand over hand empty. Every year, fueled by Glenlivet and tradition, my father took hours to wind light around each branch and my mother needed a moustache to cover her smirk when the plug flopped from the top like the impotent flag of the Republic of Deck the Halls or Heck with Fall. Or did the blind man who climbed Everest take a flag or a picture? Or does the sound of fourteen acres of trees falling to make room for that parking lot rhyme with mazal tov or knock it off? Those turkey dogs are two for a dollar. How much for any-thing less expected, tender as the frayed fur hem of Santa’s pants fluttering as he rises from his red velvet chair and heads outside to unscrew a single bulb on every strand of those lights then follows the river south like winter. Imagine he knows all the trees, even the one that made the pages of this book and he’s out there touching each needle he can reach, slowly turning their names.
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