I traveled north to Oklahoma with the other migrants, following the spring storms out of Texas. There, they showed us how to fly the rickety airplanes and cast the trawling nets behind us. Back on the ground, we were taught to wear asbestos gloves and pick out the lightning, leaving the clouds for tornadoes to scavenge. There was no insurance, of course, and even if there was, we knew it wouldn’t cover hypothermia, blinding, electrocution, or schizophrenic conversations with angels. We wondered about the rich people who bought the lightning we sealed in jars. Carlos thought they ate it like you might a live fish. Esmerelda heard it was something perverted. We drank mostly wind and slept on soggy clouds we kept in our pockets rather than throwing them away.
B.J. Best is the author of three books of poetry, most recently But Our Princess Is in Another Castle, a book of prose poems inspired by classic video games. I got off the train at Ash Lake, a verse novella, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside in 2015. He lives in Wisconsin.
Read another piece from Best in 3.2 here.