Yonex Buys a Bear Trap

Years ago I bought a Hungarian bear trap for my cowardly daughter. A big, steel cage: about six feet in diameter, eight feet long. She never wanted it, left it in the yard. Day and night it sits on my lawn. Like a shark with all its skin melted, leaving only bone. It’s rusted over time. Beautiful, in its neglect. At night I see the neighbors peering from their houses. I see them point, shake their heads. There’s that Hungarian bear trap, they must say. Maybe we’ll join hands, encircle it, chant like Druids. But I doubt it. Sometimes I take it out, drag it around the neighborhood like a balky dog on a leash. I like the way it rattles, sparks the blacktop—swarf trails of rust and slag. One day this jogger follows. I keep dragging the Hungarian bear trap—faster, harder—and she keeps following. When I can’t take it anymore I turn. She’s jogging in place near me, watching. Her red body smells like grass cleaned from a lawnmower blade. Whatcha got there, she asks. My Hungarian bear trap, I say. The way she stares makes me uneasy and sad. We vibrate in place. I don’t know what to say. Neither does she. Tectonic plates shift beneath us. Dry leaves scuttle by.

David Byron Queen grew up in Northeast Ohio. Since graduating from The New School, he has worked as a dishwasher on a reality cooking show, a copywriter, and a script reader in Hollywood. His work has appeared in The Rumpus, Everyday Genius, and Lumina Online. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.