Under the Heat Dome and Other Prose by Howie Good

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Under the Heat Dome

I realized I must have left my gun there and went back for it. When I came to, hairy cell leukemia said, “You’re not worth fucking with.” The bones, however, told a different story. A Titan had imploded. They were collecting the remains from the wreckage. The chatter was all about who would take over as emcee now that the last of the gods was dead. I rode the escalator up one flight, where I discovered the rules that are presumed to bind us had been summarily suspended. Everyone was just standing around watching the sun’s gravitational pull tear a mind out by its roots.

Criminal History

Investigators assigned to the case plant false evidence, intimidate witnesses, solicit bribes. Poor humanity, always preparing for something that won’t happen or that already has. Then one night the chalk outline of the body mysteriously disappears from the sidewalk. It doesn’t change the fact that every street is a crime scene, every person both a suspect and a victim. No one is perfectly innocent. My own heart rattles with bottled-up rage. Just before pronouncing sentence, the judge makes a ceremony of wiping his nose on the sleeve of his black robe.

Unsaved

Billions of stars are shining without the night ever becoming bright. Come morning, the only birds about are brown or gray or black. You don’t want to get up and dressed but know you must. By the time you arrive at the chapel, most of the seats are occupied. It’s embarrasses you to make your way down the aisle under the scrutiny of so many people to the bier up front. There isn’t anyone anywhere thinking, “Yes, yes, I want to do that, too.” You peer into the open coffin and immediately regret it. I have that kind of face.

Howie Good’s newest poetry collection, Heart-Shaped Hole, which also includes examples of his handmade collages, is available from Laughing Ronin Press.

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