maybe they’ll teleport from another planet or snake from our soil or breach like whales from the sea they’ll be green or red or hairy or invisible and when we aren’t looking they’ll trip our feet or abscond with our kids so they can transform them into misanthropic manifestations of themselves and return to our homes and crawl back into their beds and dare us to say a single word about their cloven hooves or spiky antennae or smoke-trailing ears and having no honor they’ll eventually get around to vaporizing us or eating us or returning us to their planet or sea cave or earthen burrow and propping up our bodies in a diorama labeled “this is what happens without planned parenthood or workout videos or the hallelujah chorus blasting from the dual anuses of a megalithic boombox left as a warning by an infinite power so busy counting backward from zero that anything was allowed to happen”—until that moment they themselves teleported or snaked or breached onto our turf ready for their own crack at manifest destiny as promised them by their own infinite power named Hod or Lars or Larry who passes time by endlessly pinning angels to the sky as warning to his minions who pay no heed since nothing’s constraining them from anything except the limits of their imagination which they shrug off with that one all-purpose word summing up their attitudes on everything from aardvark to Zyzzyva

Darrell Petska worked more than 30 years as an engineering editor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A writer of fiction, poetry and things in between (conservancies.wordpress.com), he is 41 years a father, eight years a grandfather, and 50 years a husband.

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