Volume 22, Number 1

White Picket Fence

I’m building my house out of straw. I got a good deal from a miller. The walls flush flaxen like corncob. The windows glow like canary epiphanies. I’m a first-time homeowner. You can come to the housewarming party—bring wine. My next door neighbor lives in a castle. She cries every night and reads aloud from a book of men’s names. In between each name read with a question mark, she mumbles something about a stupid spinning wheel, damn little man, and not my first-born child. I hope the ending is not happy. I hope she chokes on a poisoned apple. I hope Child Services intervenes. My doorbell sings “Whistle While You Work.” I always hated fairy tales.

—Daniel Romo