Puppet Logic
by Kyle Hemmings

If we were children of mismatched puppets, could we speak the same language? Could we fall in love despite our strings?

If your mother died from a life of splinters and ruined wood, I will dance for you until my faceless master sets me on fire or

tosses me into the pond where dreamy fish, bloated, too heavy to swim to surface, will languish over my disfigured face, my

missing arms, my heroic smile. My eyes would still hold visions of you, dangling, that silly puppet grin, and the fish would

understand. If we could talk, you'd say your name is Mitsuko and curtsy because you are a puppet with good manners

learned from the West. I'd say my name is Yoshitomo and wink at you because I am the puppet of a Tokyo punkster with

dangerous inclinations. You'd try to impress me that you are exotic, carved from the wood of empress trees. I'd sting you

with my corny puppet humor, tell you that my love is shifty, that my
wood could be from a Judas tree. Our giggles would

be stilted, forced, but we'd have potential. Could we kiss like blushing
children with stiff limbs and frozen eyes, an aptitude

for losing box kites on windy days? Could we laugh our glued asses off at
this puppet romance that will go nowhere? If our

masters don't arrive soon from their sordid affairs, we will hold hands or
be each other's ideal puppet. We would pretend that

we could step out of this hopeless life, packed into portmanteaus, made
lifeless by canceled bookings, upstaged

by rock concerts. We could pretend that all these words are really ours. We
could pretend that our masters would never

return, and the whole world would be a stage just for us. Or if our masters
arrive too soon, if they again claim us with

garrulous tongues and sharpened knives, we will pull each other's limbs
apart, falling down like drunken old men, and

commit a puppet suicide. We could pretend that we were almost human.

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey.
He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.
He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/