Kim Gek Lin Short / The Residents
Kim Gek Lin Short lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her stories and poems appear in journals such as No Tell Motel and Tarpaulin Sky.
from The Residents
ALL THE MASON JARS IN THE WORLD
There once lived like fur forgotten in a basement corner the girl who touched everything. Her body like a ball of yarn unwound and fell from the bed into the basement, from the basement into the drain, and met with many accidents, where it did touch many things. Where it spanned itself the 385 square feet fuzzed and fraying in Harlan’s house, so unwound it could not if Harlan had all the mason jars in the world get Toland back again, no matter how many times with the tailor’s chalk Harlan marked. So much more than a hundred times did this poor Harlan weep, upset. That one day he coined in scientific terms “stem-threads” and obtained a grant, and taped the permit on the basement door, where it stayed for all the colors of a Denver Fall he worked. And in all the mason jars in the world set Harlan to cure his broken Toland, and lined up with labels the things Toland touched. But Toland touched everything, and all the mason jars in the world were not enough. And in the basement forever inside him, Harlan prepared the threads of yarn, wrapping the lesions in rice paper, taking many steps backwards many times, before submitting his Toland to the empty jars forever and ever.