stop sign dead pan:
The truth smelled like burning rubber.
Shattered glass sparkling in the dew of the morning,
sun light breaking into prisms.
Red and oil, the crushing metal and fiberglass.
Vinyl splinters, caked and hardened from heat.
Gasoline soaking into grass, fire spreading;
the dew too weak to prevent the attack.
Sirens blaze, breaking the morning traffic.
A stop sign bent, crooked from impact.
A slight heartbeat in the charred beef.
It won’t last long, so hurry, be quick.
Steaks on the grill, pick the cloth out your teeth.
Gristle disperses into the flesh..
The heart, a putter, a sputter of life.
Tick, tock, beat, pump. Stop.
Muscles loosen, bowels exposed.
Fire truck, ambulance, police too late.
The fire creeps down the ditch,
field mice and squirrels run for cover.
Screech of tires, screams and obscenities.
The ambulance careens into the tangle.
Metal on metal on metal on glass.
Brake line leak, hospital making cuts.
Mechanic position closed and residents are scared.
Gravel into blood into grass into flames.
EMT dead, heads cracked open.
The pink, soft matter of the brain is ripe.
A town will be in mourning tonight.
Brandon K. Brock has been published in Zygote In My Coffee, Yellow Mama, The Battered
Suitcase, and others.