factory work: made in china.
I look for a man's hand inside
the folds of my purse, and find
a pattern that recalls a finger print, the way
skin winds in on itself, always originating
at some inner point that cannot be explained
or defined. I trace the pattern with my index.
I find something woven into the bottom, a flap
like Chinese newsprint. I know that there are accidents
in work, and that today is no different
than the days two hundred, fifty, four, years ago.
If something is caught, it is bound
and obligated to remain in a type of marriage,
and a man lost his finger for a bag, somewhere-
I carry his finger alongside me as I walk, I carry
his loss in the same folds that I carry my desires,
that I must be in a constant state of justifying
his loss. I do not buy a new purse.
I do not let harm fall over its cheap straps.
Used by permission.
Meg Eden has been published in various magazines and anthologies, including Rock & Sling, The Science Creative Quarterly, anderbo, Gloom Cupboard, and Crucible. Her collection "Your Son" has received The Florence Kahn Memorial Award. Her collection "Rotary Phones and Facebook" is to be released in June 2012 by Dancing Girl Press.
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