Compensated

There’s a vintage metal toaster in her kitchen
with a red eye painted on the side that’s facing
inward toward the room like it is watching you
pour orange juice beyond the top capacity
of the glass, you always use, because it’s
decorated with a blue spiral that goes up
along its sides like it’s supposed to.

There are too few humming bird feeders
in the neighborhood and they are starving
from a lack of precious nectar.
They peck each other to death over
sugar water and trash flowers growing
from the depths of plastic bags.

There’s a new pawn shop on the edge of a half
destroyed bridge leading out of the city
called the dead end. They specialize in using
a machine to extract bits of soul from people
and deposit them like toothpaste in a tube.
Of course the donors are compensated but
you always got more if you took your pay as credit.
People would walk out fractions of their former
selves but with records, posters from movies,
and discounted collections of greeting cards
all with no names.

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