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.