ETERNAL FLAME jason kane

What if in ten years I am alone and healed. What if you see me in the grocery store, a weather report, oranges, ginseng. You follow me home. I check the mail. Stare at the web. What if you stay past screen lock. Sunlight goes. I sit superheating in leaves, disintegrate some, reduce to one of the seven basic roadkills. What if I already knew how to make the ginseng tea? What if I did not need YouTube? Skin slough & false bones & defensive spellcast, my toppling idiot stab into ditches. When one cannot hold oranges, ride them west. I try not to gouge my head on the stump. Notice the overhead fist of carrion birds—the oxbow timelines, the over and over. What if I adjourn to future bunkers of magnets and white silhouettes, paperless, wireless, while, above, outside, our old watering holes ignite—grain flames precise and eternal, vigils of O2 rot. What if, me at my subterranean coffee table of command brevity assembling five thousand Lego-brick caskets, you above ground in a surface window, inside or out, planed into the same horizon you dissect—gaze self-eating—there come sirens, cloudbursts, iron oxide evidence layers pulling loose from archival flesh. On the stairs my heart peeled, a rabbit skull. Ear to the door. The thrill of ignoring a thing until it’s aftermath—train lifted from tracks into hopeless flight, codependences careening to distant ruin. Of remembrance I think, crosses, shafts, pavilions. What if I slide an email beneath the bunker door. “Engineer my heart’s marble steps up from this plaza of emptiness to a rectangular terrace 66’ (20 m) long and 42’ (13 m) wide. Inter me in VHS tape from the ‘Xmas 94’ cassette—no more stripping the past. No bid for reignition. No more sulfurous fruits from the suicide tree. Just bindings of color-fringed noise and static remembrances at times cutting, now and then intercut with visions of the nameless red-haired dancer from MTV’s The Grind. Lake Havasu. Exhibit of dead longing. Her bleached red echo leaked across finite frames, curated in memoriam, momentary, vital. Her calories long spent but her face now fading back into flesh. She belongs as much as any of it. Bind us on the slab. Take this invisible text. Make it real.”

Jason Kane has had work appear in places like Juked, Hobart, XRAY, Burning House Press, and elsewhere. He can be found at Neutral Spaces on the web ( and at Twitter: @JasonKaneActual