There was a man who had a broken heart. It was so broken that it had shattered into hundreds of small pieces. It was much like smashing a head of iceberg lettuce that had been dipped in liquid nitrogen. Except that the pieces of his broken heart lodged themselves into his belly. His belly was very big because he drank lots of beer. He drank lots of beer because he had a broken heart. He read an ad in the Village Voice, he lived in Manhattan, that touted a doctor in Guadalajara, Mexico who claimed he could replace broken hearts with piñatas. First, the man had to have the pieces of his broken heart removed. It took seven women seven hours to extract the pieces of the man’s broken heart. The women used steel tweezers and a Hoover vacuum cleaner. The doctor, who also sold hand woven baskets to tourists, replaced the man’s heart with a very colorful piñata. The piñata was painted with the most electric reds, yellows, and blues. The piñata looked like a parrot. The man believed that the piñata that replaced his broken heart was a gift from God. He knew it was very fragile. But he was comforted by the single fact that if anyone ever broke his heart again it would explode with trinkets, baubles, candies. He was comforted by this single fact that his heart would break in the most wonderful of wonderful ways.
The 7-10 Split
There is a man who lives in a minaret who sells the air he captures in balloons to the Imams that walk by him on the street on their way to the bowling alley. The balloons are almost always yellow, occasionally green but never red or black. The Imams buy them from the man not so much for the air inside, the way a man buys a chicken for the yolk and not the shell, but rather they buy them for what they represent. The man in the minaret believes the Imams buy them because they believe they contain the souls of those lost to the world. But the Imams tell him they buy them because they hold secrets. Secrets he would not understand. Secrets that make them better bowlers. The man in the minaret has lived up there all his life. He has never been down on the street. He doesn’t know why this is so but he believes it is as it should be. Destiny is destiny. He has never been bowling. He imagines the Imams rolling the ball with uncanny skill. He imagines them making the 7-10 split time and time again.
Daniel Reinhold holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. He is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship. His work has been published in The Painted Bride Quarterly, Red Fez, Axe Factory Review, Ragazine, and H_NGM_N among others. He served as the poetry editor for Lunch Ticket.