January 2, 2013

Mark Reep

 How to Profit as Copper Becomes the New Gold

We have no more leaders, only rulers who live in another country. I don't ask why my cousin's hand is bandaged, what he's been burning, what's tarped in his truck. I say I don't watch the news but last night I dreamt I was Jesus Christ, and you know the worst part? My cousin stares at me. He shakes his head. I say you ever think about the pressure? Mess up once, and then what? Start over? My cousin laughs. His teeth are awful. I wouldna lasted long, he says. Got any coffee?

I cut up little squares of baloney, fry him a soft omelet he won't eat. He wants to use my
phone. I say they shut it off. I know he doesn't believe me but he doesn't push it.

At the door he says better not, he needs a shower. I hug him anyway. He's heat and bones
and stink but still tall enough to rest his chin on my head. He says nothing. I nod against his
chest. When he pulls away his sleeve catches the latch. I say wait wait and he stops and
smiles the way he does now, so you can't see his teeth, and lets me free him.

Our needs are a far smoke rising. It's eight o'clock, the scrapyards will be open. I wonder
what they're paying for copper. I'm late for work but I scrape his plate. I don't want to come
home to these dirty dishes.

—First published in the late, great cur.ren.cy


Mark Reep is an artist and writer whose work has appeared in American Art Collector, A-Minor, Blue Fifth Review, Prick of the Spindle, Word Riot’s 10th Anniversary Anthology and many other fine places. He is the former editor of Ramshackle Review, and is represented by West End Gallery, Corning, New York; and Jardine Gallery, Perth, Scotland. Visit his website (http://markreep.net) and blog (http://markreep.blogspot.com).

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