Issue 168, Winter 2003
Once upon a time. A six-year-old boy almost might be raising himself
from the waters of sleep, onto a beach made glass as a wave’s sheet pulls taut.
His left arm props his torso, his legs (still sleeping?) trail behind like a seal’s
footless, tapered shank. Almost: but the gloss this beach holds is the solid flow
of a waxed floor, and the boy’s eyes—open, their own glitter fully wakened—
focus on his right hand about to crown an afternoon’s labor. He holds
a wooden cube and sets the inverted carved V of its base in triumph
on a green cardboard roof: the log cabin has its chimney. He has built well,
linking the dovetailed, pencil-thick pieces of squared cedar, blocking out
the door and windows, even contriving an alcove where his frontiersmen
will hang their coonskin caps and long rifles.