Wilted rooves and shops with names reserved

for placards on the floor. I think I’ve been to Edison

before, a place where placards look like

nametags, and names look grass green marker,

etching a name into something on the corner, by the 

trashcan. It says:

 

“Zachy,” an elongated name placed

gingerly at the end of a

line. Here I am, queued up by

first name. ‘Z,’ white like noise. 

I hate the feeling of a nametag on my new 

polo.

 

We’re making snails out of bread,

beansprouts and spinach,

rolling them up into a shell, 

poke your finger in it and fish around

for remnants of salt and sand.

Inside the bread, that is. 

 

Bread lying open face on the lightly dented

plastic, white table, the one you 

always see at bake sales. And next

to it the spinach and the sprouts. Spinach,

grass green if I can remember anything as green as 

Edison, white sprouts have a smell of something— 

 

“Zach! Your turn!” We’ve learned to roll

life into edible snails through three simple

steps: flatten the bread, line it with

spinach, and roll tightly. Attach sprouts

for antennae. Like rolling

sand into a castle, something etched into

the crease where the spinach stem

burst water into the bread, maybe a signature.

 

Starts with a curly ‘Z,’ and then 

a promise, hold the bread close, pet

it gently if you’re into that. Each pore

is like a birthmark, yeast like dead

skin. 

 

What would stop you from

plopping it right into your mouth?

The taste of the bean sprouts. You hate

bean sprouts. And also you know this

body like any body, better even so

because you created it. 

 

“And now everyone, you get to 

enjoy your lovely little healthy snail!

Eat up your vegetables for the day!”

 

Bite down deep enough to let the water

invade little blips in yeasty whole wheat

shells, water from the sprouts.

Spinach green with gleaming yellow shards of

stale, refracted light, careening down from abandoned

stores that somehow manage to keep their windows.

Edison, a leaf of spinach

wrapped in dough and something fleeting…

Something without a name,

like an edible snail you made in Kindergarten,

or a store with its sign lying all by itself

gently on the ground.