Five Points, Vol. 22, No. 1


Sample Content

Susan Browne
Air Quality Index: 500

On the non-day of the 8 am sunset,
I went outside to put on my sandals
but couldn’t find them under the ashes, the ashes
that covered the trees, the burnt furless
squirrels leaping into the charred branches.

The sky was black & orange, a ghoulish sky.
What exactly was a ghoul? I went back inside
& looked it up: a human-like monster
that feeds on human corpses.
I had wondered what the government was doing
during this era of cannibalism,
which had followed decades of shooting nature
seven times in the back at close range.

I needed supplies, so I put on my inferno mask
over my pandemic mask
& topped it off with my snorkel mask
against the river of cinders.
A swarm of locusts had dismantled my car.
I walked to town but it was slow-going
with all the masks & my impaired leg/eye coordination.

I sat down to rest on what looked like the remains
of a scorched report from the
United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
No one around. I might have welcomed a ghoul.
We’ll need to get along, not be so divisive,
if we’re going to save the world.
I thought about this while munching on my knee.
Getting it to my mouth wasn’t difficult.
I’d been doing a lot of yoga
since being cooped up.
I took a bite out of my thigh.
A bald eagle flew by with its head on fire.