Howie Good

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Heart on Ice

I was driving like I always do, as if transporting a heart packed in ice for a patient in imminent danger of dying, when outside Springfield, a bird that was also in an exceptional hurry crashed into my windshield with the boom of a gunshot, startling me about as bad as I’ve ever been startled, but the strangest part was that there were no cracks in the glass, no blood splatter, no feathers caught in the wipers, nothing, just the greasy crayon colors of dusk smeared all around and the cold stretch of road ahead.

How to Go on a Spiritual Journey

The line of stain shows the flow of time. I can take you there and you can be back by sunset if you want. Nobody would have to know. There are no checkpoints, no rough voices making extortionate demands. At the same time, it’s tricky. Everything that doesn’t act like water acts like fire. It’s a test of some sort, must be. The god of our fathers tumbles to the ground dead as a woman screams, “No! No!” but then gets up slowly and dusts off his pants, before trying to slip in the door without the dogs going crazy.

Dirty White Van

I’m walking to work, earbuds in, scrolling through a playlist on my phone, when a dirty white van slams to a stop beside me. The side door slides open. Armed men in balaclavas jump out and take up firing positions in doorways and behind parked cars. I know to keep moving. We’re all illegals in their eyes. We’re all listening for our names. A prisoner is being led down the street. He’s barefoot, his hands bound with barbed wire. Tonight, while returning home from work, I’ll pass him hanging broken-necked from a lamppost. God is a joke that nobody gets.


Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera: 99 100-word Prose Poems from Cajun Mutt Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.