Crazy “First, let’s define our terms,” the facilitator says but ignoring first principles, the woman again at Grief Group says “I hear his voice,” clutches crumpled, moist tissue, slouches in a chair to be stacked after the meeting for tomorrow’s boy or girl scouts or the senior craft session— I’ve never learned which. It’s the light of community center And I think, Are you crazy? I wish I could hear his voice. Even a dream would probably suffice. We no long hear saints, hear God, hear the Spirit, only our dreams of madness voiced over by therapist mumbles as from an adjoining room or access. I want to be you in these quests the five of us now norm in this life after, come without reason, cause, or rhyme packing toxins of hindsight to spill over lines at job, school, or parking lot spaces after finding him at the end of a rope he learned to coil on the Internet. Are we crazy? I will tell I have need to know that heaven swoops at earth occasionally, and time machines are open to this wind of the abys of our stories and the leaves we see scattering and want to hear and not stare another day at a table set with flowers again.
Thomas Allbaugh‘s poems and stories have appeared in Relief, Mars Hill Review, Broken Sky, and other publications. His novel, Apocalypse TV, appeared in 2017. He has also published a chapbook, The View from January (January 2020) and a collection of short stories, Subtle Man Loses His Day Job and Other Stories (September 2020). He is professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, where he teaches composition and creative writing.