The earth is taking requests.     Do that thing
Where you glow so green you threaten
Our collective sanity
. When the religious and non-
Religious aardvarks gather in the food court, itís a wonder
Thereís anything left for the apocalypse
Bunker theyíve dutifully prepared. Prescient burrowers
Excavate the land in search of Dixie cups and copper wire
For future telecom. Godís gift to the world:
A confetti of clapping when the sun dies
Down. Itís a wonder I havenít reneged
On you staying here, O ghosts. Just burn
My face onto some toast and your unfinished business
Will be forgiven. You may complete your existence
As an audiogram and retire
A puma in the Americas, immortal as Joveís gonads.
The Aardvarks on High bang their gavels. (Who ever
Gave the aardvarks gavels?) September and the sleeping
Catamounts listen in, inhale
The litigious smell. What rare parfum! What
Willingness to be completely bare
In front of a thousand-eyed jury! It wasnít my mistake
So I refuse to leave. Please evacuate
On tiny, sterile rocket-ships and surrender
Your plushy physiques to the abyss. The earth
Has ingested too many supplements and must rest, indefinite.


Julie Howd is a Massachusetts native and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. She won the 2015 Roy Crane Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative Arts, and has received fellowships from the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and the James A. Michener Center for Writers. Currently, she works in a sandwich shop and periodically teaches classes at the Austin Public Library. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Ruminate, Forklift, Ohio, smokinggluegun, Broad!, and Polaris magazines.