In my mind it’s always a Mexican stand-off between Switzerland or Sweden. The scientists from one of those countries where we get our chocolates or cheese cannonball two luchadores in opposite directions around the planet so when the numbnuts smash their lycra-splashed skulls together all our mirrors’ blind spots come clear as if the cloudiness were polished out with toothpaste. Only now they’ve done it & I still haven’t seen the Invisible Man they promised would knit together from gunsmoke. Oh, yeah, & the wifi’s still broke. None of my body doubles showed for my four AM shift at Mickey D’s where my forearms get scalded from emptying grease traps while Pam gets her second smoke on in the ten minutes we’ve been open. I had a teacher once say China would mass produce black holes we could study up close, that a fully-loaded Mack truck tractored into one would plunge a teaspoon plumb to the earth’s core. What I said? I said I’d knock anyone upside his goddamn monocle who even thinks of dropping any clickety-clack ball bearings in a particle accelerator. Who wants another chain reaction of economic upheaval from rapid, cascading shifts in the technology sector? Sure, I’m getting paid fifteen dollars per hundred burger flips, but come January one they’re replacing Pam- our last counter girl- with a screen because the computer’s only vices are bricks & smudged thumbs. I’m the last lucky drone still assembling your false satisfaction, so you tell me I really want another goddamn epoch of transition from corn syrup to bouillon base, cellulose to silicon? Fuck you. You can have it.
-- Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. He has published work in The Iowa Review, on Poetrydaily.com, and has work forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review, among others. His first collection How We Bury Our Dead by Cobalt/Thumbnail Press was released in March, 2015.