You rescue a music box from Goodwill because the old woman

died who bred dogs small enough to fit your palm. No skulls or

skeletons to polish, nail to drift wood, sell for rent money. Now

the music box. Something broken. You spent months painting

the little mummy man who lives inside, horse hair brushing his

stomach until a fetus formed. For him, you collect mink pelts

and American Beauties, true finds in a dumpster at daybreak.

You pull your own tooth to bring relief, shove in the bottom

drawer. When the box is opened, the metal music teeth refuse to

sit. The song skips and whines as the mummy man faces the

sky, as the mink longs for sleep, as he cocks one eye through a

hole in the lid. It isn't even a dream; these notes climb through

the open mouth. You hear the dead keep singing.