William Gallien

I'm not self-organizing. Or articulated. My new home is in the desert where a thin dust coats everything. There is a war somewhere, and, vaguely, an excuse. I suppose I'm guilty of something.
My brother's in prison in Texas. I call my mother and reassure her. Amanda tells me a news story. Earthquake in Indonesia.
I call my brother.
I just got hired, I tell him. One year as executive.
Sounds important.
There are bonuses involved. I have to drive my business.
Can you call my lawyer?
Today, I will grow at five percent plus the prime rate. I want, above all else, a personal library.
Organics show difficulty in keeping track of a train of thought or task, and grope toward concepts and ideas with great effort. Work, for example.
Sometimes I think about a woman on an escalator in Indonesia. Does she carry a bag? What color is it?
Amanda irons blouses, one after another. I'm bracketed by tasks, pinned and scheduled. I need a new sofa. I could go to the mall. The woman in Indonesia carries two bags, full of scarves. Thin and silky. One for every boy she passes.
The building shakes.
Not an earthquake.
My brother opens the door. Jailbreak, he says.
Amanda crosses her arms. The iron steams, unattended.
I'm purely apolitical and tired.
The car noses between lines, strip malls to either side. My brother's hand directs the wheel, lights direct his hand. The thought that work will begin at eight. We stop at a convenience store. Bright windows. My brother. Shotgun in hand. Fearful sales clerks hide beneath the counter. Shut up. The thought that Amanda is a sales clerk. How much? We take no money, food, or water.
No shotgun anymore and strip malls give way to tiny urban parks and tall brick apartment buildings, any one like another.
There is a bus station. People walk in and out. No woman from Indonesia. No marketing executive. I am my brother's brother. Seattle. Sacramento. Phoenix. Pittsburgh. Anywhere. Amanda at home with her iron and these tickets here, each one a branding apparatus. I have no bags and nothing to fill them.