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Elisabeth Horan

Trading Up/Trading In

Tattoo Girl by Erik Brede

Bear in mind you will wear the skin of the entire crocodile. If you want to wear the shoes – you must wear the entire animal. Yes, the animal’s body. His corpse. His skin. Oh, and you must wrangle him yourself and slit his throat with a twelve inch aussie knife. Good, so we’re clear on that one.

You will spend one month in a DeBeers mine. Well, that is the price these days for the big rock, lady. I don’t make the rules, I just enforce ‘em. It will be bad – yes. There will be children and rags and blood and red earth. Yes, like “Blood Diamond” minus the DiCaprio. Like I said, if you would rather go with an opal we can talk about spelunking another time. But it seems like your husband wanted to go the diamond route.

Finally, the phone. I know, this one is hard. Tantalum mine in the Congo or it’s back to the rotary and wall cord for your sorry ass. This one is six weeks. You pay airfare and you also pay the medical bills of the people who lose fingers installing the rockchip, and of course provide chemo treatment for the factory grunts who carefully screw in your wasteful motherboard.

You’ll be asked to sign a release for the on/off chance of dying there. Usually from mandatory chemical exposure and/or huffing of offgasses. It carries over from the carpeting contract you agreed to earlier. For your living room? Hey, I told you before, I don’t make the rules, just enforce ‘em.

Good then. If we are all clear, I just need your John Hancock right here.


About the writer:
Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature from Vermont advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. She has work featured at Hedgehog Poetry, Moonchild Magazine, Former Cactus, TERSE. Journal, Blanket Sea and Milk & Beans.

Image: Tattoo Girl from the Abstract Portrait Series by Erik Brede. Manipulated photograph. No technical information specified. By 2017. By permission.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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