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G.A. Hindy

Haunting at Home Depot


In college, my closest friend brought me a dead bird to make art with.

I put it in the middle of a brick of ice and brought it home

for Grandpa’s funeral on the $1 bus while listening to Pink Floyd.


Grandma died long ago of smoking when smoking was something 

you did in restaurants. Her ghost used to hide the TV remote, but 

Grandpa’s ghost had nowhere to go, with the family dispersed 


like particles. Today, every hour I check the weather for air quality 

and worry about breathing the PM 2.5’s stuck to my dog’s fur. 

But back then, I made a fire and melted the ice until the whole bird 


was burned. At one point it made a ghostly chirp. Later that day, 

I got naked and crawled into a dog cage in my mom’s backyard. 

I was weird and worried Grandma might still be watching, or


the neighbors would call the police. I rode the $1 bus home. $1 every

seat. Get people hooked on a cheap service, then make them pay 

for their dependence, or so the theory goes. Back at school, I laid 


naked in the snow and asked my closest friend to paint me white. 

He used a bucket. It took him one minute. I stayed for ten or so. 

It had nothing to do with race. The cop was just worried I was cold. 


Like everyone, I wanted to say something before it was too late. 

They told Grandma it was never too late to quit smoking. She always 

laughed at them, to the end. One night after Grandpa died I went 


to the woods to chip my name into a stone like a tombstone but 

wrote instead “a quiet person” and called it performance art. Actually, 

I could barely read it. It was only scratches, though I guess it’s still 


somewhere in the woods. I returned the chisel to Home Depot. 

Recently, I returned again to Home Depot for N95’s to help me not 

breathe in the smoke and decided I’d pick up an orange bucket, but 

I accidentally walked out without paying. Nobody seemed to care, except 

my knees, which were shaking. I almost had a panic attack at the thought

of being caught stealing an orange plastic bucket. I hate Home Depot 


and I hate their petro politics and I hate the way I feel like the ghost of

a tiny, frozen bird in Home Depot. I wanted to steal from Home Depot. 

I wanted to get even with Home Depot, and yet I went back in to pay.

G.A. Hindy is currently passing through Minneapolis on a tandem bike with another poet and their dogs.

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