'Bre/ad' by Amy Mackelden

You beg like a Bible verse: taut, memorable, ghost-written. He circles you like a Catherine wheel: you’re the pin, fixed to a flammable fence, and he’s the firework, sputter-ready.

You, Walter, have steady, cameraman hands. Cameraperson. Inclusive language is generational, a gap you misunderstand, or miss, or denigrate, the way modern gods being men isn’t a problem. For you.

His suit smooth like a wipe-clean-able tablecloth, you ask, “Who will you have without me?” You forget how fast you replaced Beta with VHS, Matt Damon with Ben Affleck, and back again.

Once, he invited you into his house, said, “Let’s break bread now,” and you remembered your tongue at the alter, a finger delivering bread, and an endorphin urge, pudding thick, to Velociraptor snap at Father Mike’s fingers.

Lapsed Catholic, you wait for this man to decide. He’s your boss. Important like the Commonwealth, in history. There’s no redemption, only more, a pre-written prescription you weekly forget to pick up.

For you, Walter, infinity’s a gas meter counter spinning into the next billing cycle.

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