Dry Eye / Elizabeth Witte

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dancing girl press, 2014

 Elizabeth Witte’s writing has appeared in Glitter Pony, Anomalous Press, Amerarcana, Kill Author, Shampoo, and elsewhere. She is Assistant Editor of The Common and received her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The Fragment

In this fairy tale all the children will instead be pieces of children.
The one with powers will also be pieces of one.
In both cases, the surrogate differs slightly from the substitute.
In neither case will honey behave the same as sugar.
Either way might be a means to make the thing be sweet. Or the pieces.

The informant spoke with his eyes.
The informant spoke also, quietly, with his mouth.
The informant delivered the neo-non-religious sermon, eloquently, on Tuesday.
The informant spoke of capacity and wholeness.
He told truths and another he told falsehoods and another told the pieces their
Another he told a piece to pick itself. Another, he told to be picked.

The pieces of children spoke of wolves.
The pieces of the one with powers spoke of oddity and value.

If the fragment is whole then we can be rich.
We can have our portions, all of them single treasures.
Every thread on him is his individually. Every cell hers.

A fly cleans the legs that are also its own.
How many eyes may become a treasury? If all are necessary to a single owner?

With purchase he has another fragment for his collection.
He removes a whole body from circulation.

When atoms were discovered we became richer.
When you join us you become one of a community.
The fragments of the pieces of children increased our wealth-potential.

Let’s be scientists.
If the possessor is made smaller the fraction shifts.
Without mathematics we cannot finish beginning.

If we are very very small.
Then, the owner was crushed.
His life’s accumulation water-logged.
By surrogate he asked permission to become subject to.
To bequeath himself without, no longer having capacity.
That is the life.

That it is still, then, whole.
It is the informant arriving with the fragments.
It is all exhibited into being at one instant.

The crab fragment on the sand is found.
What is left of the crab on the plate is a super-thing.
A new name must be developed. Neither is crab.