The Elephants and donkeys
painted on nursery walls
were adhered with love
with thoughts of a newborn
swirling in mixed-up brains,
with stencils and
as was the only option
at the time of application,
with lead-based paint.
Right up until the end
But I know CPR and I’m shit at math
so I can bring you back to life and
don’t need to know the odds of it working.
You’re no witless crash test dummy,
no ballistic gel molded to torso—but
I’ll still deny the apocalypse for you.
Local Urban Legends
It was always some horrific accident
caused by carelessness, youth. A burst
of flame or crush of compacting car.
He was changing the channel—she
should have known not to text back
until she’d reached the destination.
The killer only found them because
the old ‘lover’s lane’ backed up
to the tracks where hobos trafficked.
The meteor fell on the streaking man
because no one, not even God,
wanted to see that during the game.
Because his whole family had already
passed the threshold, no one questioned
the story beyond the occasional reporter.
Most of us made graduation. A few
achieved escape velocity—the rest
remained in a slowly degrading orbit.
Waiting to crash to the ground—either
a shooting star’s last flare or friendless,
drunk and naked with an unclaimed
bullet in the back of the head.
Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. He won the Gulf Stream 2020 Summer Poetry Contest and his writing has appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Fence, Atlanta Review & Texas Review among others. He publishes the writing blog Notebooking Daily, edits the journals Coastal Shelf and Sparked, and recommends literary journals at TheSubmissionWizard.com.