On Tables Named Lack
We were drunk and played the floor is lava
while the world outside was on fire. You
came home and made the bold claim that
imaginary friends are for children like cartoons
or believing in Santa or eating your vegetables.
Just because flat-packed tables aren’t real wood
and they don’t use real screws and we got a real
gash on the shin. You were essential, selling
houses to rich people. 100,000 have died, we said
but you said you didn’t want to hear it. Old news.
True, we replied like a Greek chorus. It’s up
at least another thousand since this afternoon.
While some locals fight their facemasks,
last night, a guy kidnapped his three year old
twins and full-on Duke’s of Hazzard-ed his truck
into the Pacific because his estranged wife
was getting the police involved. We won
with rum and fruit juice and you joined the jumping,
crumpling cheap tables and chairs to the molten
floor like they were the furniture for paper dolls, lava
everywhere, setting fires and shifting the ground.
They said the Yosemite super caldera was overdue
for a huge eruption—wipe out the dinosaurs
huge. But who’s got the decades to wait on that plug.
We’re not on geological time here—this
is something different entirely.
Jessica Tyson, Nolan Hutton, Zebulon Huset
Quarantine Exquisite Corpse Project* #1
it was impossible to tell if the neighborhood kids were shrieking in terror or joy
the siren was like a baby down a pitch-black hall
sitting on the back of the garden chair in the rain
the Chinese elm tree hissed leaves roiling before
the exasperation of poverty
and is this the peace you seek?
Only ever sings for you, if it ever does.
Discovered in Budapest without shoes
the sound of a small motor and metal grinding and zydeco music down the alley
as ants carry more weight than any of us.
Before the calves got ornery, as they say—
the pericos, as Pete called them, erupted from the branches
without a ticket or fare—we proceeded
filling the sky behind the siren—
truth that bleeds into the space between your breaths
he believed that wood milled on a full moon was somehow stronger.
- A series of exquisite corpses completed by poets online, from their various nests.
Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Louisville Review, Fence, Rosebud, Atlanta Review and Texas Review among others. He publishes a writing prompt blog Notebooking Daily and is the editor of the journal Coastal Shelf.