Copyright © 2016, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.



Remember when we were travelers,

and it took time to do things?

That’s all time was back then.

We built fire, animals

stepped away, stories rose

and we

            extended into things.

Right now, then,

I, myself,

standing on the North Rim

go fifteen miles out, in

to that little cleft. We all do, did, do.

Time was there were always plenty of gods to go around.

Time was, was no time, just an arc with a prize at the end,

and everybody had a power of who they were,

no pretend or trophies for first or second place.

We were the trophies. If we ate each other, it was in tribute.

Now we're stuck, everyone of us downsized,

spies reporting on each other to a Ghost Agency.

We don't extend so far,

not even to each other's shoulders.

Now we have a soul, or we did,

before they pulled that out too.

But things are easy these days. Not too much pain for

some. Water heaters, country cousins, gas grills.

Climate control, trucks with food porn on their sides.

The only real pain for everybody is

this time thing we've been gifted with,

and the soul, now held out in front of us,

as a mystery to see if it's really there.

Bill Pruitt is a fiction writer, storyteller, poet, and an assistant editor with Narrative Magazine. He has published poems in such places as Ploughshares, and Cottonwood, two chapbooks with White Pine and FootHills. His story “My Cousin Gabe” appears in a recent issue of Crack the Spine Literary Magazine.