Strange Trials

If you must drown or burn, please burn.

At some point, you must choose a scent

(ascent, descent) and go with it.


I’ve never seen why we shouldn’t put our bodies through

strange trials for no reason other than that freedom

is knowing perfectly and exactly all the walls of your cell.


Everything survives flames. Imagine

touching the nonexistent

top of the sky, your body in ashes on the wind’s wings.


Revelation, like all sensations

is for one person, time and place only.


If it is true, as Moses knew,

that the desert is God’s country,

the void speaks volumes.


The Visitation

In the event of a visitation—

some presumably all-knowing being

coming down to chat—my protocol

is to first ask, Is there a God?


So when God Himself appeared to me, I asked this

and He replied, in His unmistakable voice, No.

The sky turned green and chairs

collapsed under people all across the city.


All I could do to demonstrate my faith was walk

out on a frozen lake, tiny cracks following

my every step. Laws are governed

by miracles, and these can never be broken.


This was in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

late November. What an unbelievable name.

People had thrown rocks onto the ice

some heavy ones even broke partly through.


When I stepped back onto the dock, my hero’s

welcome consisted of a black sun-abandoned line

of trees standing behind a field of yellow

grass poking curiously out of the snow.


by Dustin Junkert


Dustin started writing in order to impress girls. Most girls aren’t all that impressed by writing, he has found. But here’s hoping. Dustin lives in Portland, OR. He recently had an essay published in the New York Times, and poems in The Journal, South Carolina Review, the Minnesota review, Weber, Georgetown Review, GW Review and New Delta Review.

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