From: American Poets Say Goodbye to the Twentieth Century, Andrei Codrescu and Laura Rosenthals, editors, Four Walls Eight Windows Press, New York, 1996 Copyright C.M. Mayo METEOR It's been twenty seven years since our toolshed was hit by a meteor About four or five in the morning a few days after New Year's It sounded like a heavy door had been slammed but none of our doors was heavy I knew not to look at the sky for the mushroom the flash of white that would surely come (My eyeballs would turn to goo and run down my cheeks) There was a smell of hot cement scorched sand and grass The dogs began to bark our collie Spanky Davy Frank's cockerspaniel, Mr Murphy's poodle The Lemmons' aged dachshund We lived close together then our houses all looked the same the sidewalks were level, the trees were saplings We picked our way across the lawn my dad had a flashlight my mother kept her hand on my shoulder like a vise For the love of Lucy said Mr Frank He had on his workshoes but no socks Mr Murphy wore a flannel bathrobe just like my Dad's

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Well Walter he said You won't need to dig a shelter now I knew I would be famous my photograph in the book that told about an old man who spontaneously combusted that showed a pumpkin the size of a Volkswagen a girl with an extra foot growing out of her knee But the next day my dad brought in a truckload of dirt Mrs Lemmon said she heard something about our meteor on the radio But she wasn't sure because she was in the shower at the time Not long after Apollo went to the moon Davy Frank went to Vietnam We moved to Dallas The Lemmons rented an apartment by the freeway Mr Murphy retired to somewhere near Phoenix last I heard I'm sure he's dead now Then I was transferred to Atlanta but here I am again in a rented car (not famous, yet) The tree trunks are thick and craggy the pavements cracked and buckled most of the houses have second storeys The children riding their bikes all look Mexican If I were to knock on our door on any of these doors No one would believe me No one would believe any of this