Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (excerpt)

 

Preflight Checklist

Two pennies,
gleaming mercury;
a map
sewn into your coat’s lining;
sachets of spring flowers
in your fists
for queens on vacation.

The dirt rolls open—
your flight is boarding.

 

Do You Have Anything To Declare?

Customs:

They’ll give you jars to store
your organs in and pat you down
for smuggled memories.

You won’t feel a thing…
even the hook that’ll pull
your brain out your nose
is painless.

 

Ashley Naftule is a writer & performer from Phoenix, AZ. He’s been published by Phoenix New Times, Dark City Mystery Magazine, Four Chambers Press and Masque & Spectacle. More of his work can be found at ashleynaftule.com.