Hitchhiking Through the Apocalypse
Howie Good


I was just sitting down to have a little lunch along Highway 2 when this guy drove up. I thought he was going to offer me a ride, but, as I approached the car, robots and Jesus screamed, "Stop the bloodshed." It was a day in May, and the universe was presiding over its own rebirth. The birds that hadn't learned how to fly were about to be hauled away to a mental institution. "What does it mean?" the guy asked, as if I were some kind of reference book. I stuck out my thumb. It was a long time since I had seen the ocean.


It was a shaky morning, infested with car horns and sirens, nervous parents asking where their children were, pigeons flying with a falcon. He made a gun with his thumb and forefinger, went boom-boom-boom-boom, trying to shoot that bird. A mountain rose to confuse us. He told a woman he wanted to talk to her and the woman said he could talk all he wanted. "We will control the vertical," he proclaimed, pulling her tighter around him, like his grandmother's paisley shawl. Something that hadn't been born yet moved and just as suddenly stopped moving.


That's the problem with putting Velveeta on enchiladas, instantly it rains double digits, it rains like a woman just back from a weekend road trip, and the piano fills up with smiling fish, the most garish colors that machines can imagine, orange, purple, pink, the debris of a Barbie lunch box, but love will save us, love will save us, and burn the scarves and everything in that tent.

Howie Good's most recent collection is DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING UNSTABLE ELEMENTS. He teaches journalism at SUNY New Paltz.

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See more of his work in the archive.

Detail of collage on main page courtesy of Joanna Coccarelli.

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