Jackknife

case

Lying on one side, bottom facing

me, you’re a customized mid-sixties

Chevy nose and grill, the horizontal lines

of the Case three-blade pocket design.

Around back I see the cluster of folded

shanks pressed tight, aligned, begging

mechanical action. Always promising

to be discreet even though your top—

which is actually the side where the Case

insignia (long gone) was glued—clacks

where the simulated bone-handle plastic

was cracked when I dropped you on

the garage floor, then accidentally backed

over you. Each hinge snaps open hard

firm, folds shut an echo in your belly

clear and sharp as the bite of a woodcutter’s

ax in the trunk of a tree a fair distance away.

I like you’re heft, even though it wears

holes in my pockets, you’re the perfect

size and weight in my hand. You let me

cut, chop, trim, scrape, clean, pry and screw.

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