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The Refrigerator

by: Danielle Lea Buchanan

The refrigerator is pregnant again. The umbilical cord is black rubber. Attached to the bellybutton of the wall. She vents hard from 17 nostrils. Her womb has a door handle I open. Two breasts, 48 ounce pitchers of black tea, swell over the edges. Previous children are wrapped in aluminum foil, seat belted to the door. Her sex smells of a vat of pork broth. Bundles of cilantro curl around her opening. A green hair aromatic and wild and tangled. She’s wet. Leaks mustard. Her plastic spine almost collapses when the compressor pumps. She’s grinding her teeth into ice trays. Just as the baby kicks in the crisper, her amniotic fluid spills. A dog licks it off the floor. The doctor administers anesthesia by dropping the temperature –12 degrees. He opens and shuts every cabinet of her womb. Her placenta, a 20 pound honey-baked ham, is thrown into a black garbage bag. The surgeon cuts her appendix with a screwdriver. Ties her fallopian tubes with pliers. The baby is purple and unmoving as an eggplant. Dead, it lies in a colander in the kitchen sink. The refrigerator is strapped to a dolly, then wheeled.