A Danger to Self or Others by Howie Good

It’s hot. The heat rises in waves from the sidewalk. I’d like to vanish over the border and have a hundred years pass and there still be no trace. The woman in a sleeveless blue dress that shows off her toned arms has been talking on her cell at a neighboring table about cutting everyone’s hours. She glances at me and then away – not embarrassed, just uninterested. I start gathering my things. God’s aim must be pretty shitty. Every day is a heart hooked up to a monitor, another cat shot with an arrow.


I went in search of a woman who laughed during sex as much as I did. When I returned years later, it was the two-hundredth anniversary of the black eye patch. More and more people were refusing to use a dictionary. Somehow I just knew that a flight of angels would constitute a violation of U.S. airspace. I kept repeating my name to myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to forget who I was. Living things erupted from the ground. The sun in the crayon drawing wore a slightly quizzical expression.


Baby galaxies spiral into existence. I stand against the back wall with my head bowed. It was Spinoza who described God as a night watchman at a zoo. The concept requires further explanation. Meanwhile, the address of hell keeps changing. “Turn toward me,” the photographer says. “A little more.” The wedding couple on the steps of the sanctuary obeys. There is no devil, but there are a good many flames.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing) and the forthcoming poetry chapbooks The Complete Absence of Twilight (Mad Hat Press), Echo’s Bones and Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks), and An Armed Man Lurks in Ambush (unbound CONTENT). He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely. You can check out Howie’s blog at http://apocalypsemambo.blogspot.com/

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