All over Nebraska a fearsome angel dangles over a manufactured forest, blue pills of cars rush every highway. Skateboarders realize life is so flat they don’t know if they can perform tricks anymore. Corn’s breathing keeps families up as they try to dream of pigs.
All over Nebraska tiny people called children forget about hide and seek, smear each other with mud. Criminals carve soap pistols hoping they might escape through the imagination. The sky has not moved for fifty years, a painted still life of clouds and lightning.
All over Nebraska football is played to decide who will live and die, who will be buried in the parking lot and who will be crowned with sheaves of wheat. People happily chloroform themselves rather than stay up at night. Truck drivers slam brakes when they see UFOs, letting out passengers dazzled by lights.
We believe in Nebraska; its dotted border exists, inside it we will be at peace, a corn maze surrounds us as we sleep.
Donald Illich has published poetry in Poet Lore, Map Literary, Fourteen Hills, and other publications. His book, Chance Bodies, was recently published in 2018 by The Word Works. He lives in Maryland.
Artwork: Noel Kerns, UFO, 2008.