Return to Permafrost Issue 38.2

TERROR’S MIDDLE NAME IS LAUGHTER

by Dan Pinkerton


Pancaked mammals on the road again,
syruped in blood, lips curled mid-hex.
Hurtling northward, I drove them down
 
before they could properly cast their spells.
I was on my way home to beacons
in a poisoned sea. No one approached,
 
no rocks on which hulls might be dashed. I stood
at the counter pondering the power bill.
My wife had shrunk away, hectored to her
 
breaking point. The children–I’d lost track how
many–were playing again in the dog runs.
We’d hired a doctor for the sutures.
 
I tongued a sensitive crown, fixed a sandwich.
It was time to order inner peace
from an infomercial or seek out some
 
nontraditional cure, something Eastern.
I know the animals are baring their teeth
but sometimes it looks like they’re grinning.