"Serious Preparations for Horizontal Descent," "Meltdown," and "After the Epilogue"

Serious Preparations for Horizontal Descent

Animals are creeping into my life. An orange cat. A yellow Lab. A motherless baby rabbit. I’m surrounded. And that’s just fine with me. As a kid, I spent a lot of my time watching TV alone in the basement, in the dark. They say we are what we do. A gun that might have belonged to Dillinger is wrapped in newspaper in the pantry, a flash of lightning made of shadow. It’ll blow the skin and muscle off bones.




The other day a woman was pulled from the canal unconscious and not breathing. That’s when I realized I should have done something sooner – hanged myself from a ceiling hook or bitten down on the muzzle of a gun. The point is, I’m not a happy person. I have cracks in one eye. I have gray teeth. It may be chromosomal. It may be environmental. It may just be what they call a lifestyle issue. There was a time I even envied the famous stone that people would go and kiss for luck. Eventually the stone melted. From kissing! Melted!



After the Epilogue

Small-time gods had been spitting off a rooftop onto the lives going on below. They tried to kill a witness, a child, to shut her up. At first I didn’t believe it. But then I was like, “OK, why not?” The ground was covered haphazardly in a dark sticky substance that made walking difficult. Taking slow, cautious steps, I got to the end of the dead-end road and passed through a hole in the fence. On the other side it was dusk, and maybe always was, no people anywhere, just stubble fields and a black dog with a red tongue.



Howie Good

Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently The Death Row Shuffle (Finishing Line Press), The Trouble with Being Born (Ethel Micro Press), and Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 22:50