After a Long Day at Work, He Contemplates a Vasectomy (and the Western Interior Seaway)
God’s honest truth: He wants this museum
to himself, no hollering kids. Interloper,
he mouths at a brassy child touching
a glass case, leaving fat fingerprints.
In the next room, three dinosaur
skeletons sit idle as crackling children
break the rope barrier
and boom toward them
while their tired teachers
look at watches, tug at humid-thick
updos, delirious delirious.
He could have one. No, he barely has a relationship
with his brother, whose wife died suddenly,
who wouldn’t let him in
(though he could’ve done more).
But what’s the point? Once, Nebraska
was nothing but ocean, a vast sea
stretching from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico,
and they say we’re headed back
to that doom, that the Melt
is coming and we’ll have to navigate
all the harbors,
those ships pouring in.
How would they find each other?
what they’d even talk about there
at the end of the world.
Anyway, he could always swim.
Robert James Russell is the author of the novellas Mesilla (Dock Street Press) and Sea of Trees (Winter Goose Publishing), and the chapbook Don't Ask Me to Spell It Out (WhiskeyPaper Press). He is a founding editor of the literary journals Midwestern Gothic (co-founder) and CHEAP POP (founder). You can find him online at robertjamesrussell.com.