Tools by Zach Davidson

Kyle Utter 73rd btwn 30th & 31st 

TOOLS by Zach Davidson

“Those are beautiful tools,” my brother says, pointing at a trowel and a sickle, hanging from the side of my shed.

My brother holds a toy—a bottle of beer, rather—and his beard is more manly and well made than mine.

“What happened to your ex-wife?” I say.

“What about her?” my brother says.

“She is the weather woman now.”

My brother says nothing, so I say, “It looks like it’s going to rain. That’s what she said on Channel 5.”

I am saying things like this to my brother because, besides being my brother, he does not own a television.

In fact, his wife left him on account of his erudition and poverty.

Now my brother gets up—he is still holding his beer—and he handles my sickle.

“Please put that back,” I say, for I do not trust any members of my family.

My brother puts his bottle of beer down on some silver pebbles so he can hold the sickle with both hands.

“She looks good,” I say. “I think she looks better now, actually, than before. As my son says, ‘She is a hot meteorologist.’”

“Fuck you,” my brother says. “Fuck your son.”

The shadow of the tree—it makes a bony slingshot on the lawn.

My dog eats its bark. Bits of sheath show up in his shit.

“Fuck you,” my brother says, and he kicks his bottle of beer. He kicks it hard enough to destroy it against a wall of my shed. There are amber shards mixed in among my silver pebbles.

The rain comes now. Dark circles show up: on my brother’s pale hair, on my ruddy polo.

My brother is crying and it is raining. I am holding him. I am holding him hard in my arms, with his chin on my shoulder. I am proud.


Zach Davidson is a senior editor of the literary annual NOON and contributes frequently to BOMB. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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