People from three counties flock to see
the man who folds his wife like a pocket knife
each night. They stand on tip-toes
in the shavings of his whittling stick
to get a momentary glimpse as he lays her on
the shelf above his hand-carved bed.
The men whoop it up; the women keep quiet.
There is nothing private in his life
anymore. He waves them away,
then pulls the shades. His silhouette floats
like the grain in burled walnut. The crowd moans
when he snaps out the light. He’s made it
through one more day without a scratch.