I woke up, from a nap, on a bus I did not remember boarding. It was daylight. My neck was stiff. I looked out the window. The surroundings were unfamiliar. The foliage was unfamiliar, trees and plants I had never seen before. The signs on the shops were in a foreign language.
Was I really going to start worrying about the story I'd made up just to frighten Lundquist? Of course not. Until he'd asked, I hadn't been bothered by the thought of what might be inside the narrow crack in the bottom of the ice cave that we plunged the probe into.
“Three strikes and you're out,” he says in whispers behind the scenes.
Out on the street, no job, no way home.
Permanent as a bronze statue, ripping young from their loving families;
A sickly angel, hiding among the crowds outside my favorite gay bar.
When he smiled automatically into the mirror, part of his daily, FRUP-mandated routine, he saw there were no teeth at all along his lower jaw. Thatches of dark, scraggly hair had sprouted up in their place.
A Ukrainian army combat medic who
was decorating her new apartment in Kyiv
with pink carpets and fluffy curtains,
now sleeps in the basement of
a building converted into the headquarters
for the Territorial Defense Forces,
When I get frenzied over all the remnants of the laughter, or of someone else’s college plans, I just think: “You could kill them all if you wanted, Caleb. If you decided you wanted them to die, you could find a way and go make it happen.”
At root, everything composed remains mineral and chemical. Radical: cut the node at of its conclusions. The tendrils know dirt. Yes, I too have known fire. I have seen the helmets cutting the surf, bobbing in the foam and viscera.