The Collector by Jeffrey Zable

I was lying completely nude face down on a block of ice
in the market with my arse sticking up in the air. A woman
walked up to the seller, pointed at me and said, “How much?”
“Oh, that slab is very expensive!” he said with a smile.
“How much?” the woman asked again.
“For you $3,550, including shipping!”
“I’ll take it!” the woman said, and handed him a credit card.
When I got to my new home, the children were very excited.
“Can I have a piece of it now?” asked her son.
“Can I put an apple in its mouth?” asked her daughter.
But the woman had me deposited onto the living room table,
over a nice clean cloth.
“Aren’t we going to eat it?” asked her husband when he
returned home.
“No we are not!” the wife said emphatically. “This is a valuable
piece of art. I want him to stay right where he is and give some
life to the living room!”
But as time passed, and I began to rot and stink up the room,
the only one who would go in there was the wife, who never
seemed phased by what was happening to me.
And when I was finally nothing but bones, she hung me
in her closet along with her furs of hedgehogs and wolverines,
she’d collected over the years.

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s published five chapbooks including Zable’s Fables, which has an introduction by the late Beat poet Harold Norse. Jeffrey has been published or is forthcoming in Toad Suck Review, Thirteen Myna Birds, The Alarmist, Skidrow Penthouse, Snow Monkey, Kentucky Review, Uppagus, One Trick Pony, Clarion, Lullwater Review, Dum Dum, Edge and many others.

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