about the author

Abigail Goodhart is currently pursuing her MFA at Western Michigan University. She draws inspiration from the culture of the Midwest, the absurdism of the Web, and the frenzy of playing roller derby.

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One Poem  

Abigail Goodhart

Party at the End of the World

Our host has planted a cherished crop this year, and he’s been trying to give it away all night, he’s desperate about the summer squash, like that step before writing the note.

Our friend is pregnant and unbelievable. We’re all holding our squashes like babies. Like practice. We want to be unbelievable, too.

Our friend says everything around her is a practice baby. Big books, gallons of milk, laptops.

I am rocking mine, and all of a sudden, I am wrong in my skin. I put it by my feet in the grass. Pick up the beer I set down. Is anything as unlikely as hail. We relocate.

I stand in the garage, with the door rolled up, watching a cream couch left neatly by the side of the gravel road get pelted. A man with a voice like NPR tells me a medium-length story.

Behind us, looming, are the freak bikes. Our host is nutty with a welder’s mask. Triple decker rusted frames smeared together with heat.

Bikes so tall you need a ladder to get on, bikes with no brakes, bikes with springs attaching the wheels, all of them a tangle of gears.

And to the side, we see the snarl of cut-off metal, broken bike chains curling around each other evilly next to salvaged heaters and toasters and cardboard boxes dated with fat markers. The smokers come out and save me from an answer.

Inside, the one who brought the fireworks reminds us he had to go out of state to buy them.

I’m out there now, a few miles past the state border in the fizzling landscape.

A beheaded semi-truck is parked in the dusty parking lot of a barely operating warehouse.

The carcass announces Uncle Sam’s Fireworks.

The man himself is standing ten stories tall, face stroke-baked by the sun. Faded and facing the semis and vacationers. He’s not pointing.

I don’t want any of us, either.

Everybody got out of the above-ground pool when the sun set and the mosquitos settled.

I have a dog’s terror of fireworks. I float in the water with the melting hail, eaten alive, and clutching my squash.

A few delirious guests are giving the freak bikes a test ride. Making long horror show shadows in the patchy lawn. Teetering.

The crack of a collarbone is oddly sharp, even in the muted water.

The practice squash wants to sink, so I let it.

I watch the little stars get punched out by loud, brief, and brighter ones.

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