Nothing much happened during the duration. But a child did say
the word duration until its meaning disappeared. Cream puffs
reigned supreme. Baked Alaska was big during the duration. We
thought it would be a kind of interlude, but technically, it could
have been forever. Snowdrifts were also popular. Something
white, like laundry, hovered over the land. In a darkened circus
tent, a hobo clown tried to sweep a circle of light into a dustpan.
It was the duration. The way it eluded the broom. The way he
could never quite sweep it up as it contracted, becoming smaller
The aftermath arrived uninvited, without retinue or precedent.
Gray sunlight was gradually suspended. Stars formed in cliques,
giggling, carrying on. Cosmic rays continued to probe unabated,
as the aftermath remained uninvited. Several numbers piled
on the couch, but added up to nothing. Blame the aftermath.
Single-windowed souls were admitted, some bringing gifts of
pomade. Tiny sandwiches were served, each of related interest.
Low-grade voluptuousness eventually passed into sleep. The
aftermath sat in a corner. No one spoke to it. The nerve.
Richard Garcia is the author of Rancho Notorious and The Persistence of Objects, both from BOA Editions; and the chapbook of prose poems, Chickenhead (FootHills Publishing).