we drove to the hardware store
before we went bowling. You
had to buy screws. You
wanted to install a shelf. I make due
without shelving, cluttering rocks with
spice jars, souvenirs,
old cards.

maybe a shelf is a good idea,
maybe it’s salvation.

Instead, I go to
the bakery and eat a
Long John at the window. You
come back with a bag of screws
and a cactus. The cactus
is not for your shelf, you say.
It’s for the bathroom window.

you are very talented at keeping
pins upright, it turns out. you
don’t mind. I like bowling
because you are rewarded
for demolition.

we get fries, watch traffic.
I know you are thinking about your shelf.

I try to tell you that I am supportive. I try to
tell you that you can screw me,
anytime, more than once. But
instead, you screw
your shelf.


Bára Hladíková is a writer and artist based in Montreal. She has performed and exhibited her work in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montréal. Her book Behind the Curtain was recently published by Publication Studio.