this is my body

eating and drinking at the end of the world
by Jonah james fontela
Put something, anything, on the curb in our neighborhood and it’s gone in a flash. Someone picks it up and carts it off before you’re back to the front door. A quick glance around the apartment turns up goods I considered, pondered and eventually carted home from the side of the road. A green vinyl chair in our living room. A small table with a hand-tooled leather top where we we drop our keys and mail. A handful of terracotta flower pots of various sizes, with plants alive and growing inside them, line a windowsill. The legs on the right side of the green chair are crooked on close inspection, but it’s no problem. No sweat. We face those legs to the wall. The springs in the seat are noisy and uneven and stick up into your butt cheek, but nothing’s perfect. A huge diagram, a cross-section of the decommissioned ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo dominates our bathroom wall. It bubbles with water damage at its corners; a brown tint along the edges. But it’s beautiful in its corruption. It’s alive on its way to death, just like us. I found it three blocks from here, leaning up against a tree. When my mother saw it she told me stories about the time she sailed on that very boat out of New York harbor. How swarms of dolphins greeted their arrival across the Atlantic in the bay of Naples. She told me, with tears in her eyes, how old women prayed on their knees in the boat’s stairwell when rough seas battered them a thousand miles from anything solid. When I put items out on the curb I don’t see them as garbage. They’re not my refuse. They are objects I no longer need or want, that someone else can probably use. We discarded a wooden chair, painted pale yellow by my sister’s hand long ago. It now sits on the porch of a neighbor two houses down. I sat on it handing out candy to costumed trick-or-treaters a few Halloweens ago. I see it every day and think of when my nephew was newly born, crying like a maniac. I remember holding him in that very chair when he was just a pile of jelly. I believe the chair is still somehow mine, but not enough to climb those porch steps and haul it back.[Image: Diagram of Italian ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo, scrapped in 1982]

Put something, anything, on the curb in our neighborhood and it’s gone in a flash. Someone picks it up and carts it off before you’re back to the front door. A quick glance around the apartment turns up goods I considered, pondered and eventually carted home from the side of the road. A green vinyl chair in our living room. A small table with a hand-tooled leather top where we we drop our keys and mail. A handful of terracotta flower pots of various sizes, with plants alive and growing inside them, line a windowsill. The legs on the right side of the green chair are crooked on close inspection, but it’s no problem. No sweat. We face those legs to the wall. The springs in the seat are noisy and uneven and stick up into your butt cheek, but nothing’s perfect. A huge diagram, a cross-section of the decommissioned ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo dominates our bathroom wall. It bubbles with water damage at its corners; a brown tint along the edges. But it’s beautiful in its corruption. It’s alive on its way to death, just like us. I found it three blocks from here, leaning up against a tree. When my mother saw it she told me stories about the time she sailed on that very boat out of New York harbor. How swarms of dolphins greeted their arrival across the Atlantic in the bay of Naples. She told me, with tears in her eyes, how old women prayed on their knees in the boat’s stairwell when rough seas battered them a thousand miles from anything solid. When I put items out on the curb I don’t see them as garbage. They’re not my refuse. They are objects I no longer need or want, that someone else can probably use. We discarded a wooden chair, painted pale yellow by my sister’s hand long ago. It now sits on the porch of a neighbor two houses down. I sat on it handing out candy to costumed trick-or-treaters a few Halloweens ago. I see it every day and think of when my nephew was newly born, crying like a maniac. I remember holding him in that very chair when he was just a pile of jelly. I believe the chair is still somehow mine, but not enough to climb those porch steps and haul it back.

[Image: Diagram of Italian ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo, scrapped in 1982]

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    Put something, anything, on the curb in our neighborhood and it’s gone in a flash. Someone picks it up and carts it off...
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