AWAY FROM HOME
The history of this country tends toward collapse – amnesia, anemia, aphasia, and so on. Strangers rarely linger. Quarantined, the elderly are allowed at least to keep a fire. You can taste the smoke on the breeze. I wash the greasy taste away with a glass of the local beer. According to one story I’ve heard, the shadow is fourteen feet long; the breeze, only thirteen and a half. Another beer? the waitress asks, a hint of irritation, or even hostility, in her voice. There’s an empty speech bubble hovering just above my head. It would be different, perhaps, if my brain weren’t considered my best feature. The light clumps off over the cobblestones on silver crutches.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He has had numerous chapbooks, including A Special Gun for Elephant Hunting from Dog on a Chain Press, Strange Roads from Puddles of Sky Press, and Death of Me from Pig Ear Press. His poetry has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthology. He blogs at http://apocalypsemambo.blogspot.com.