Kim Gek Lin Short
The Tiny Book of Instructions

The time Harlan wore his octagonal binoculars and read from the tiny book of instructions for a meaningful love, Toland called him Lorenzo and together they skipped about the kitchen wearing pots as hats. Then fingering a passage in the tiny book Harlan took his binoculars off, in their place put two slices of onion, and wept up a rainstorm into all his many hats. “Where,” asked Harlan, filling pot after pot with tears, “are my gardening gloves?” Toland from some basil sewed the three pointy pairs and Harlan called her Isabel. And the tiny book became the word for rainbow and spilled into Harlan’s many gloved hands. But the rainbow was thirsty and no matter how many onions Toland sliced Harlan could not go on filling her pots. Will nothing make you wet? she asked, threading her fingers through his nose to inhale the basil. But Harlan shook his head until his gloves fell off. So Toland untangled her head from her body and piled it like plumbing in a nest of pot. As Harlan wept up a rainstorm into Toland’s pipes of hair the tiny book became so meaningful all its words were smudged.