Zombie Nightmare



The zombies are sponsored by the shadow government run by the military but we do not find this out until after the resistance is formed. The resistance is formed after millions of people—even Americans—have been killed into zombies. They zombie walk the streets in the clothes Americans wear, but covered in dirt and salt and fashion of past seasons.


I am surrounded by white people I’ve never met and they keep turning on the lights. No, I say, the zombies will know we are here. We want to watch TV, they say. We want to run the microwave. You fools, I say, they will come for us. We want to watch TV, they say, and use the microwave. I must arm myself and get going. I dig in the closet for the baseball bat that isn’t there. I dig in the closet for rain pants and rain jacket. I won’t be back.


I go alone, switching off lights as I leave. The white people turn them back on. They wear sweaters and lip-gloss and watch TV and pop popcorn. From tree to tree I scurry like a beetle. The zombies do not see me. You are safe if you cannot be seen and if the lights are off. Where did I get this baseball bat.


Zombies move among us or we move among them and smash their heads at convenient moments and continue down the street for coffee, breads, and jams. They get tricky, sneak around at night, waiting to bite you and turn you zombie. I am surrounded by white people who will not turn off the lights and the zombies are coming. We are trapped in a stairwell. It’s a trap! I yell but no one can see the trap I am yelling about.


The military take control over civil operations. They take over the White House to protect the president and his family. They direct all communications. The army needs fighters for the zombie war. Just like the zombies they will grab you if you are out walking alone and enlist you by force into their ranks.


Once a week Obama and his family broadcast a radio message to keep up national morale. Locked in the syllables and pauses there is a code. When they say we are happy and safe, well-treated and well-protected by our esteemed military, I hear that there has been a coup and they are prisoners in the White House. I leave the hand-crank radio on the windowsill. I will go to the meeting point, alone if I have to.

Miracle Cure: A cast spell



What I know about severed heads:

tongues do not float away to join

angelic choirs. Tongues rot like

tongues and eyes cure into mica.

I was driven to survive unloaded. Down

there see the salmon run, men holed up

at the mouth, in the rush to feed.

I toss them moonlit flesh without even

being asked! Now you see me, now you

see me bolt my foot to this floor.

Thankless men burn my dead so lazily.

The kingdom of God, they say,

is the cunt that locked you out. I will live

past whatever I can. The right half of me

is on fever. A man I am not fucking

cautions me against unsanctioned hot

springs. Don’t boil to death is such succulent devotion.

God bless those who fully escape. I skinnydip

past men at the mouth thronging to feed.

I love their filth and all their bursting veins.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is the author of Personal Science (Tupelo Press), a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press), and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press); and Grand Dessein, an artist book commissioned by Container Press.