Where She Stores Her Day
She grows her fingernails long, the curve of keratin a useful space to collect the extra skin cells on her scalp when she finger-combs her hair. Then breakfast, after the toaster has burned her bread with a sheen of black, she scrapes all ten nails across the plane until the toast pales. In the warehouse where she works, she accrues thready shards of black rubber from the conveyor belt and corrugated cardboard shreds. In the lunchroom: salt, oil, flaky bits of tuna. The fluorescent pink soap in the bathroom. The pulse of cleaning spray at the end of her shift. The rime of frost on her windshield. The wax from her ear while waiting at a stoplight. The dry air of an empty room. The tufts of couch fibre, the plastic veneer of a microwaved meal, the charged ions of television rays.
At the end of the day, the dark windows framing her silhouette, she pulls the metal tool with the curved tip from her drawer, tears a thin square from the roll of paper by the toilet, and extracts her day, wiping arcs of stratum, her personal rainbow of white, black, tan, pink, yellow, and when she digs deep enough, red.
Wendy BooydeGraaff’s work has been published in NOON, Rise Up Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, The Ilanot Review: TOXIC, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, she now lives in Michigan, USA. Find her at wendybooydegraaff.com or on Twitter @BooyTweets.