Resplendent, spear gored, 

the wedding guest would still be shouting if he hadn’t 

come within that single fathom.

Over you go, 

the both of you, into the photo 

on the guidebook’s dust jacket flap.

The volcano has either already erupted or is just about to, 

smoke stacks poking anachronistically through the power grid.

Somebody ought to tan your hide, he’d said, so you sunned

in your endocrine until the warm jets thrust up 

through the ice caps.  

Next thing you know,

you’ve got to bail out an ocean w/ a copper kettle

or find higher ground

in the otherwise vacant lot where a man 

wants to show you his underground helium tank.

There’ll be black balloons for your panic room 

if you’ll toss the bathwater on the other side 

of the tracks & leave the baby

to gnaw the wallpaper.           You scratch each other’s backs 

even though you haven’t been waxed 

since well before the quarantine. The last time 

this happened,

you gave up once the pit bull 

mauled your finger. 

There’s an ellipsis where the fire road should’ve been,

a bus stop on top of the mountain & then an avulsion 

soaked in salt. 

Chris McCreary lives in Philadelphia. He is the author of five full-length poetry collections and the chapbook Maris McLamoureary’s Dictionnaire Infernal, a collection of poems about demons co-authored w/ Mark Lamoureux. You can find Chris on Instragram @chrisixnay.

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