Almost everybody on the block had been out in the yard that night with his or her mouth open.
Next thing we knew, we were watching The Late Show in an ER waiting room, each of us with
something flitting about inside our insides, something foreign that was dying to domesticate or
escape, that we could not help without help. I knew I contained a good handful of black gnats
and what might have been a tiny origami blue stork. Fellow next to me took in a dart, a game
dart gone astray from the only bar this side of the landfill. Lady next to him took in a whole
warren of dust bunnies which she claimed had donned wings but, come on, whole town knew she
was a fibber and a hoarder to boot. I dare say when the ER TV finally signed off with the
mayor’s son blowing the national anthem through his bugle, we all felt a little lighter and what do
you know, a bit more American to boot.

Charles Springer has degrees in anthropology and is an award-winning painter. A Pushcart Prize, Sonder Press Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction and Best of the Net nominee, he is widely published in print and online. He has authored Juice (Regal House Publishing, 2018) and a collection of prose poems, Nowhere Now Here (Radial Books, 2021). A new collection of prose poems, Window Over the Sink (Fernwood Press) is slated for Fall 2023.