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.
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.
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.