Postcard proseIssue 14 | February 2012

Buttons

by Jennifer Faylor

When she loves someone it’s the worst— they wake each morning to find a new button sewn to their jacket, until one day they’re covered in brightly colored bits of plastic and metal, the occasional pearl button swimming with city light. Her lovers never want to hurt her feelings, so they walk around all day looking ridiculous, constantly getting entangled with peoples scarves, dangling necklaces, loose hair. Then, they return home to her every evening with bits of the world still affixed.

People often ask why she’s sewn so many useless buttons to her dresses and sweaters. She tells them they aren’t useless. No, there’s an opening in the world where one of those buttons will fit perfectly someday. There’ll be a perfect man out there with a hole inside him just big enough for one of those buttons

She dreams of having a little girl, of naming her Coco. A name with buttonholes already built in, so people could hook their loving fingers into her, pull her out of sadness if she fell in. Even the idea of bearing a child seems simply a process of buttoning and unbuttoning another body from herself.

They are more useful than people understand. If someone inside her apartment is very, very sad, wants to jump out the window, she buttons them to the drapes so they have time to think about things. Or if someone who loves her wants to leave, she buttons them to the floor.

If you ask her why she has buttons everywhere, she will place a button in her mouth and kiss you. If you tell her you love her, she will swallow that button whole, never let it go.

About the author

Jennifer Faylor is a poet living in New York City with her pet goldfish Edison. She has her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and is the poetry editor of Opium Magazine. She’s been published in such places as Bat City Review, Elimae and Redivider.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok