As old timey Westerns foretold, cowboys reclaimed the dust lands: black bandanas sewn with coyote claws, buzzard plume, King James Bible cutouts cursing the world to come. Next, satellites abandoned air & crashed subtle as heaven -destined skydivers shrugging ripcord disaster. This attracted bystanders: basement-dwelling cyberpunks later reduced to neon puddles. When you wandered the sites, stone-faced, suited men cordoned the perimeters with tinted vans, thorn wire, & declined the populace explanation: Keep moving, mind your business became morning’s tone -deaf creed. Hiking home, ambulances zoomed by like afterthought. Dead thrushes littered sidewalks. You noticed a fly-festered jackrabbit crucified to chain link & didn’t stop once to consider lunch’s appeal or the smell of storms stampeding inland. Then, hours piled into a pyramid of Dos Equis cans, laptop life support: Refreshing newsfeeds like morphine drip, you blacked out in a fish taco platter the size of Montana. Quarantine seized the district by the time you awoke & bit wind of wasp clouds, war germs, stars logging off ‘till night turned kaput like the jukebox diner that erupted across the street. On your balcony: a shadow, backlit by burning buildings, tickled the ukulele. You followed the tune’s trail past screen door to ash showers & a blonde flushed from boxed rosé. Fumes of purging lottery roiled, but the hunger took you. Encircled by cigarettes, smoking halo, you fucked a prayer desperate as walking dead men swig their last single malts. In the brilliant blaze, she wept puddles on your sternum & petitioned violent weather to slaughter the city’s remains. All night, dog choirs sparred for merchants’ limbs; orgasms ached the air; counting gods pawned like poker chips worth three squares & a pillow, contrails tally-marked the sky. When her eyes swung open at dawn, you’d popped a Xanax & buttoned your best blazer: knapsack with cash wads, spare shades, & sandwiches ready. Outside: safe as a carcass. The building would cave come noon. Crossing the causeway, she joined roving caravans bound for promised lands where holy bums & prospectors bred. Soon, night stalked your boots. Bonfires bloomed on the bluffs. Then, the red road rolled out like a carpet across horizons struck stupid with stars. Cast in the moon’s spotlight, you wandered further west.