(Explanations Are For Cowards)

By Brian Nickerson

come up for air together

steel toes pickax our shins

elbows jackhammer our spines

limelight blinding like a prison break

teeth grit throat squeeze howl like

you mean it and submerge again

taste that sweat swamp kick stomp

every body one flexed muscle

clasped hands into balled fists


(I see no nouns now I only see verbs)


above us: sound systems sonic boom

above us: subwoofers thunderclap

before us: seething blackness

before us: state of nature

between us: emergency exit

between us: now or never


(either giggle like a buzzsaw or

choke on your own astonishment)


this is how their walls will crumble.

this is how locked doors swing wide.

this is how we’ll finally escape:

wild smiles and no apologies,

wild eyes and no explanations,

intoxicated, illuminated,

possessed by the thrill of the hunt.

Published on page 54 of the Spring 2011 issue of Leviathan.

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