UNBOUND: June | Howie Good

Sonata in C Major for Piano and Gun

I could feel air from the outside coming in. And that sort of started it. I immediately knew something was wrong. I just didn’t register what it could be. A Jesus look-alike walked up and, in a strained voice, asked a series of curious questions, including “How permanent is permanent marker?” I couldn’t make sense out of it. Everybody was in tears. What I wanted to do was card tricks and magic. It’s the most extreme thing you can do inside that won’t kill people.


A banner draped across the wall directly behind the ad hoc altar said, SMILE EMPTY SOUL! I probably won’t make a complaint, but I didn’t like it. The bride was wearing a dress with long sleeves to hide her dirty tattoos. I called my father and said goodbye to him because the way everything was falling out of the windows reminded me of 9/11. Hours later, many guests were still trying to keep their heads above heart level to avoid further realizations. This got me wondering how a mosquito can fly in the rain.


I sat in my car at the intersection next to the school mesmerized by the way the fire was raging from the windows. Every day I think about what I’ve lost. John has paint he says we might be able to use to fix things up a bit. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of this. There’s a bullet hole in my child’s car seat.

God Drives a UFO

There was a loud bang. In my head, I was saying, “Is that a gunshot? No, it can’t be a gunshot.” We like to think we’re like Switzerland. I opened the door in my underwear. “Oh, are you going to a costume party tonight?” the man standing there asked. My wife was sobbing uncontrollably just behind him. I know some people must be wondering what the confusion was. Life is about the water. The truth is about the water. It bubbled up from the floors, seeped in from the windows. You have to study everything to be able to explain it.

The Damaged

The other girls used to make fun of your clothes. Whether you can prove it is a separate matter. You see pictures of people taking pictures. Sometimes you want to say, “Hello. Where’s your beard?” But, of course, that can’t happen. It risks being misunderstood by weekend visitors. What might make sense in one setting might not in another. One woman put a shotgun to her chest. Another walked out into traffic to discover if the cars were real. All these years later the tips of your fingers are still sore and bloody.

Beached Whales Attract Sharks

I stand on the sidewalk, trying to seem normal. Everything that was alive is gone, and it’s heartbreaking and difficult to hear about. Some people tended to the wounded. Others were on their phones. I don’t know who comes up with these ideas. You want to know if a dead bee can still sting. Sometimes it’s like getting a blue hug from the sky.

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