Monsters or Some Bullshit

Monsters or Some Bullshit

Adam Peterson


First the satellites disappeared, and without working phones no one could call to complain about the buzzing, dancing static that’s drowned our lives. In the paper we saw pictures of flag-draped coffins, but those boxes were empty. No astronauts came back the last time—none of the monkeys either. Everything in space has died, which is weird because we did not know it ever lived.

The president says, It’s monsters or some bullshit, but I only want to know that you’ll be okay when whatever’s out there reaches down for us.

The stars disappeared. The next week, the moon. Even though we did not place them in space, they were ours. Those with telescopes say there is only darkness in their eyepieces, but I could have told them that. At night when I leave the bed, I’m really climbing the neighbor’s oak tree and studying the sky. When I return, you ask me where I’ve been and though there is mud between my toes and twigs in my teeth I tell you I was at church.

The president says, When it comes, our rockets won’t be full of monkeys and Texans.

Without phones, no one talks anymore. Not even you and me though we orbit each other during breakfast. Instead we read the paper, but there’s no point. Every day the pictures of space get bigger until the day the entire front page is one black rectangle. 

Are we waiting alone or together? I know you think the answer doesn’t matter anymore, but it might to me.


When I’m in the tree, I think of how there aren’t directions in space. Whatever’s out there surrounds us and steals all of our light. Some of this brightness we made, most we did not, but either way it showed us which way was up. Otherwise the only direction we know for certain is down. Which might be the only one weneed even though now we don’t bother with coffins. And I’d eat breakfast with you if my stomach wasn’t so full of twigs.

From the tree I can see the light from our window and your shadow eclipsing the curtain. The president says, Run. I don’t know what will happen if in the morning the sun doesn’t rise. I suppose I’ll ask if you think it’s monsters or some bullshit, but when you say you don’t care anymore, I’ll know what’s coming and all the things we won’t do about it. 


All rights reserved to Adam Peterson.

Illustrations by Bill Ferenc.

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