Matthea Harvey

The Future of Terror / 7

From the gable window, we shot

at what was left:  gargoyles and garden gnomes. 

I accidentally shot the generator

which would have been hard to gloss over

in a report except we weren’t writing reports

anymore.  We ate our gruel and watched

the hail crush the hay we’d hoped to harvest.

I found a handkerchief drying on a hook

and without a hint of irony, pocketed it.

Here was my hypothesis: we were inextricably

fucked. We’d killed all the inventors and all

the jesters just when we most needed humor

and invention. The lake breeze was lugubrious

at best, couldn’t lift the leaves. As the day

lengthened, we knew we’d reached the lattermost

moment. The airlift wasn’t on its way. Make-believe

was all I had left but I couldn’t help but see

there was no “we”—you were a mannequin

and I’d been flying solo. I thought about how birds

can turn around mid-air.  About how

the nudibranch has no notion it might need

a shell. Swell. I ate the last napoleon—

it said Onward!  on the packaging. There was one

shot left in my rifle. So this is how you live

in the present. I polish my plimsolls.

I wrap myself in a quilt. I re-ink

my note (for nobody) and I’m ready.



“The Future of Terror / 7” first appeared in BOMB Magazine,Spring 2006 No. 95.