glass-like metal inscribed with a tiny tree-like diagram of lines
branching out to form connections, a tiny web of them. "It's the chip
it ran on. The brain of the machine! A little beat up, but it would
make a cool ring."
"And the heart," Carmen said in a small voice.
"'Scuse me?" asked the clerk.
"Nothing ... Can I have it?"
The clerk shrugged, and Carmen, almost without
thinking, raised the chip to her lips and kissed it, the way she used
to kiss the cross she still sometimes wore around her neck, then slipped
the chip into her purse, tucked the copies under her arm, on one of
which read the old computer's serial number, TJX037X2, and quickly
left the store.
Christopher Bernard is the founder and a principal of Caveat
Lector. He is author of the novel A
Spy in the Ruins, several chapbooks of poetry and prose, plays,
and philosophical essays.