In Case of Fire
The seamstresses bend to the demanding work of sewing mouths shut with curved needles and fire retardant thread. And why shouldn’t they? The only words anyone ever truly needs have all been cannibalized for parts. It’s the reason I carry a lot of photos in my phone. Still, if someone announces, “I think I’m going to kill myself,” you should take it seriously. I’ve been lingering for a while now very close to a volcano with a beautiful name.
Whiteness of a Different Color
This feels like the worst place you could possibly be. There’s just barely enough room in the outdoor holding pen for everyone to stand. Cameras survey faces for unconscious signs of hostility. “Government,” a tearful 11-year-old girl pleads, “please show some heart.” It’s been a long day and an even longer night. Time doesn’t pass so much as flop around. A mother with two young children clinging to her skirt crosses her arms in a vain attempt to hide her trembling. You have no real chance of escape. The moon is blowing at full force, a white whale with a grudge.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera from Cajun Mutt Press, What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press, and Spooky Action at a Distance from Analog Submission Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.