Two Texts



Water leaches naturally from old steel, dripping onto the desert. Oases bloom in the Mojave beneath the endless power towers dotting the dry land. Pull over after five hours, after nine hours, after twelve. Stretch on a green daub. Watch the sun slink between red mountains. Listen to the sound: something like throbbing. Something like the first car you’ve seen today: one wave far away, then close almost crashing, foam washing over the cool sand. Twist the thing on your finger. Nestle in the damp grass and thank the water-giving steel. Listen for crickets, for frogs gently croaking hidden in the lush tower garden. Erase lines, erase the metal lattice from the sky. Imagine a landscape of light. Drive four more hours, six, eight. Wait for change. Wait for night, wait for stars.

Nevada 2

A nuclear detonation was conducted below this spot at a depth of 3,200 feet and is hereby commemorated by eternal rust-cap. Note the weeds circling the perimeter. Note this toxic hole. Here explosives exploded. The ground fell feet into the ground. The device, with a yield of less than one megaton, was detonated to determine the environmental and structural effects that might be expected should subsequent higher yield underground nuclear tests be conducted in this vicinity.

No excavation, drilling, and/or removal of materials is permitted without US Government approval within a horizontal distance of 3,300 feet from the surface ground zero location (Nevada State Coordinates N1.414.340 and E29.000. Nye County, Nevada.) Do not open the cap for toxic inhalation, no matter how strong the urge. Imagine lavender, imagine odorless white radiation, imagine radiation radiating, the sun’s rays up from this hole. Imagine always summer. Any reentry into US Government drill holes within this horizontal restricted area is prohibited

Matthew Kirkpatrick's writing has appeared in Hobart, Gargoyle, and in the anthology Stress City (Paycock Press). He's working on his PhD at the University of Utah where he holds the FC2 Fellowship. He edits Improbable Object and co-edits Barrelhouse.