fast submit   Patreon
bird ig discord fb
archive ☭ LRB
Buy stuff on LUNA

Purcellville Et Cetera

Dan Boucher

a flashing
stoplight swinging above
the four-way intersection
marks a fifteen-foot span from our
summer-heat window screen;

this city is a town because
your city ain’t a city if you
can hear a mouse fart
at three in the morning.

oppressive virginia summer,
cocaine-sweat on my forehead,
and here’s me expecting the stoplight to
produce some tiny
noise which cannot
be heard over the day-
time traffic
—“tic-tic-tic-tic,” or “bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz”—
but it does no such
thing. a drooping flag clings to its
mast without even a slight
breeze to bring it
the shape and smell of honor,
bloody horror.

then, old glory stirs
to a rustle brought on
by diesel fumes and
noisome hints
of an oncoming
semi; the rig
clambers up old route seven, more
harbinger than herald.

at eight
minutes past three
a blue pick-
up truck rolls down
both windows and
kills the engine.

metal is blasting
from the dash,
and all is lost.


Also by Dan Boucher

The Wrong War


In Case of Fire, Break Glass

a Weatherman Waits

They Had the Nerve to Call Us Associates

Purcellville Et Cetera

Polar Bears

Cough It Up, You Assholes

Pepperoni Calzone