• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 03

Call Sheet Prohibition

A cyclone fence severed top to bottom
framed by and attached to spilt rails
provided an exquisite entryway leading
from country pastures to a phantasmagoric
panorama: enthralling, compelling, inviting.

As I pushed my way past bolt cutter remnants—
sharp steel edges—ragged grey wires pierced
my young tanned arms, etched skin with crimson
pencil thin scratches, marked my rites of passage
from a safe environment to a toxic experiment.

Once through the colorful porthole, the rainbow
horizon expanded east to west exerting powerful hues,
a nuclear sunset in a radioactive wonderland,
where capricious clouds spread laterally and fallout
seared my starved soul with earth-shattering substance.

But the sight—the sight brought both hands to my forehead
shielded eyes like a flesh and blood visor. Spellbound I
watched the horrible magnificence until my brain throbbed
and nightfall methodically blackened a flamboyant firmament,
leaving only a shimmering glow in its mercurial wake.

I glanced once behind me, recalled the variegated landscape
and silhouette of Livermore Laboratory hidden by haze,
then wiggled back through wire mesh, snagged my t-shirt,
admired my congealed cuts—badges of courage—future scars,
certain my forbidden zone trek christened me with epic grace.