reading steiner

I’ve been watching
too much tv

now I am the

disaffected butterfly on fury road
making donuts in the sand
on a windy day

dreaming my exit with
each turn

it’s Christmas and we’re running out of coal

***

I infiltrated a retro flying saucer that was invading the planet and activated an invisibility device as soon as I got. The interior resembled an army barracks and mess hall, but instead of troops, there were human families with small children either eating dinner or playing. My invisibility only lasted about a minute and I spent half that time shellshocked by the scene. As it expired, I hid under a table— totally conspicuously— until it recharged. Several kids took notice but none of them alerted their parents.

Once I reactivated my camouflage, I ran down a corridor and into another room where there were armed aliens in what look liked an overgrown city plaza enclosed in the ship. Grass and weeds had grown in between the concrete blocks but had since died and at the opposite end of the plaza there was a fenced-off alleyway. With little time to spare, I sprinted past the aliens as my camo wore off. They shot lasers at me as I ran for the fences, and, by the time I had climbed halfway up, they stopped shooting and let me go.

After I jumped down, I headed down the alley and suddenly I was back on Earth. Rather, I was on some postapocalyptic version of Earth. There were three deserted cars strewn all over the street and a tuned over motorcycle with a freshly dead man underneath. Among the vehicles was a black SUV, and, as I crept down the abandoned city street, the SUV lurched toward me and revved its engine. Startled, I leapt into one of the other cars, scrounging for keys that naturally weren’t there. Out of the side mirror, I could see a gang of armored vehicles speeding toward me. The SUV revved again and I jumped inside without another thought. Immediately, it sped off down the road, turned down the same alley I had emerged from and rammed through the fence gate.

To my surprise, we weren’t back on the ship. We were in a city turned jungle that was filled with bees. The other people in the car told me that they had been trying to get back to their timeline for years, endlessly going in and out of the alley. They spun us around and plowed through the magically repaired fence once more and we drove into yet another version of Earth.

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