Standing on the corner of the road,

Watching the sky change from black to red,

Thinking of all the day demands.


Hungover from the night before.


How am I alive?


He remembers — a brief flicker — chugging a bottle of Jägermeister,

Trying to stand on his head, toppling over,



“And I’m not dead,” he says aloud.


He looks again at the shifting sky,

A group of songbirds soaring past an expanding cloud,

Like angels gliding across the face of God.


Daggers of rain start slicing the sky, assaulting the pavement.

The water builds up, flooding the streets.


He sees himself floating out to the ocean, arms raised to the sky.

Then he is sucked underneath.


The clouds stay, but the rain stops — a late spring blast.

He remembers forgotten homework

And curses aloud.

But there is time. I’ll sneak off to the library…


A young woman hurries down the street, eyes averted to the ground,

Breaths quick and shallow.


Something is chasing her, a monster with a drooling mouth.

She starts running, then the thing leaps up to bite, and becomes all mist.


He hears a dog barking — a wolfmother signaling her pack.

Another bird flying in the red-blue sky, wings stretching out one, two, three feet.

He looks again, and it’s a pterodactyl, its chirp now a roar, its breath now ancient dust.


I’m alive. I’m totally alive.


A rumble, a squeak, then gasping for air.

Shaking his head, he’s back on the corner of the road again.

The bus is here and he gets on, finding a seat in the back.


I hope I didn’t forget anything else…  


He stares out the window.



Pre-order Jon Bishop’s first volume of poetry, Scratching Lottery Tickets on a Street Corner, publishing September 21 from Finish Line Press

Photo by Sten Dueland