by Alina Stefanescu
We don't believe her about the purple comforter. We mark every piece of linen in the closet and take care to note its prompt return. For her to say the comforter disappeared is ridiculous when our surveillance ensures disappearance remains quaint and novelesque but absolutely impossible given the microchip.
The microchip was manufactured in Taiwan and stitched beneath the third insulating later of the purple comforter.
If the comforter had disappeared, we would be able to locate it in less than 23 seconds. The microchip would beep and blurt. The microchip is like an arrow that doesn't miss a target. The microchip is both arrow and target and therefore unlikely to miss. We don't believe the comforter disappeared. More likely the comforter was used for secret purposes and then the microchip was cut out with a razor or sharp steak knife from a big-box store.
We care about the girl as well as the comforter. Though our concern may sound stern, this is because we know what can and what cannot disappear.
We chose the purple comforter for its rich Grecian hue. We do not know why she chose the comforter or for what purpose.
If a comforter is torn to shreds and then buried in the woods behind a school, the comforter did not disappear. De sotto voce we maintain that a comforter buried in such a way has been destroyed.
The difference between disappearing and being destroyed is the presence or absence of a microchip. One of us believes that the degree of esteem or value for an object also determines this difference. However, we agree not to say anything which we haven't all agreed to say and therefore the one of us who believes this does not exist.
We don't know why the girl destroyed the comforter and then lied about it. We continue to be disturbed and upset. We are steeled against despair. We grieve the purple comforter as if it had disappeared and there was hope of its return. Hope is a silicone-based microchip with a specific serial number. Hope is purple. So is clematis.
You say the girl has disappeared and we believe this to be quite plausible. An unloved girl can disappear. A comforter without a microchip cannot be loved- not forever. A comforter deserves to be loved forever. We are frustrated in our attempts to accomplish eternal love.
We maintain hope that the comforter, however tattered, will find its way back into the linen closet, shelf 3, cubby 1.1, wrap 19.
We continue to love the idea of the comforter and yet we are sorry to find ourselves unable to love the comforter whose microchip has been excised.
We do not wish to see the microchip. This is not what we want. The microchip is not what we love, whether real or incorporeal. The microchip is merely a way we have developed of showing our love in the same style as pet owners who love their dogs insert microchips beneath their skin to protect the dogs from disappearing.
It is not our fault that the girl lied and disappeared in that order. We do not blame ourselves for the way in which bones deface chronology.
We hope that she is happy if she is dead. If she is alive and not dead, we hope she feels an unbearable burden of guilt for her role in what took place with the purple comforter. We hope this guilt is an ongoing and miserable experience.
We believe time heals all wounds in human flesh but time cannot assuage the holes in a well-ordered linen closet with daffodil-scented lining and peonies painted to the right of each shelf.
was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by the love-ghost of Tom Waits and Hannah Arendt. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and three small native species. Her syllables are forthcoming in PoemMemoirStory, Rivet, small po[r]tions, and Kindred, among others. More online atwww.alinastefanescu.com.