Every time an eleven rolls by, it is impossible to prize from it anything I can use. Driveways paved with oyster shells, meringues from broken eggs. I have a skull necklace bleeding intimate details. Those elevens, especially this one, this week this year, they shriek, they bellow, they call with the rasp of roll-your-own’s and Singapore slings in dusky industrial Midwestern cities on the eve of something impermanent, I mean important. They are sylphs, those elevens. Those elevens, long and lean and long ago and long in coming and long to wear out and I long for them. They can ruin your dinner without filling you up, elevens. But when I take them apart late at night, and arrange the pieces, I can’t ever figure out how they (don’t) work.
Michelle Auerbach is the author of The Third Kind of Horse (2013 Beatdom Books). Her writing has appeared in (among other places) The New York Times, The Guardian, The Denver Quarterly, Chelsea Magazine, Bombay Gin, and the literary anthologies The Veil (UC Berkley Press), Uncontained (Baksun Books), and You. An Anthology of Essays in the Second Person (Welcome Table Press). She is the winner of the 2011 Northern Colorado Fiction Prize. She is an editor at Instance Press and can be found at michelleauerbach.com.