I put in a request for a transfer because
the local office was getting to be a downer.
I filled out the requisite form to ask
if they would transfer me to the Alhambra
I made extravagant promises– I would definitely
create a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis and achieve cold fusion
I signed my name on the form “Extra Careful.”
I tied the transfer form with a red ribbon, strapped it to the leg
of a cow and clipped the barbed wire fence
so that she might run free.
I painted my eyelids black and performed chants
in my living room that I learned from the 14 year old
Satan worshipper next door.
I drove to the FedEx/Kinkos store
and mailed several sketches of the cloudless sky
to the Dalai Lama.
I am still waiting for a response from the HR Dept.
day after day in my house with no lights on
shades drawn to cover the windows
memorizing all the stars in the universe
in preparation for my journey.
Late night at our campsite
the children asleep in their tents
James passed out in the grass
I played Cure songs on my guitar.
The air felt charged with ions
prickling across my neck
gusts clattered gear off the picnic table.
Heat lightning arced across the sky
followed by reverberating thunder
nervous conversations stopped
eyes scanning the horizon.
Our fire dropped to embers
then a sharp crack and a falling branch
knocked Amity in the head
when her husband ran over to help
she shrieked like a wounded animal.
Cries from frightened children
a tarp from the neighboring site
was blown into a distant campfire
I raced through the trees toward it.
And the darkness of nature
yet boomed across the sky
take me too
sprinting into your black heart.
Wallace Barker lives in Austin, Texas. He has been published in Neutral Spaces Magazine, Reality Hands, Misery Tourism and Expat Press. More of his work can be found at wallacebarker.com.