Literary Orphans

Star Side Down by Nathaniel Sverlow

I received a new ink ribbon

in the mail

It was wrapped in plastic

with a label that read:

 

PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA

WE ARE US COMBAT VETERAN OWNED AND

OPERATED. THIS SPOOL HAS AN

EXPANDING CENTER CORE TO FIT

ALMOST ANY SPINDLE. INSERT

“STAR” SIDE DOWN IN SPOOL CUPS.

 

PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA…

(the last bit being cut

through the middle)

 

And I felt proud loading it

like a soldier

hugging dirt

facing death

with a shit-eating grin

 

Though the spools were misshapen

poorly raveled

and only one “STAR” could be down

for the damn thing to work

at all

 

but the label was enough

to feel good about the purchase

 

my fifteen dollars being another

breakfast

bottle of wine

or blackjack bet

 

for our brothers and sisters

in arms

 

Hell,

it’s the least I can do

O Typekey Divider

Nathaniel Sverlow is a freelance writer of poetry and prose. He was born in 1983 in San Diego, California and has since spent most of his time hunched over a laptop randomly pressing keys. He currently resides in the Sacramento area with three cats and one incredibly supportive wife. His previous publishing credits include Typehouse Literary Magazine, Map Literary, Marathon Literary Review, Defenestration, and Black Fox Literary Magazine.

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Piotr Kaczmarek