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Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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Ian Mullins

Anywhere But Here

car lights fading
into fog –
black dog still chasing

when they finally stopped the blood pumping from my wrist like a broken water main flooding the street, they strapped me up and tied me down in the back of the ambulance and drove sedately through the early afternoon traffic

and I stared out through blue-tinted windows at the quiet world: hedges and street corners, people moving placidly through their lives as though they had nowhere special to go, but were going there anyway; heading to the cemetery one turn at a time

and I wished I was one of them, didn't tear through the world with a black dog chasing me down, catching me in its jaws and dragging me to the exit as though I didn't need to be anywhere but here: looking out through the blue at the only show in town

but maybe those people have dogs too: smaller, less obtrusive beasts that chase them slowly, but chase them all the same: and every one of us dragged to the same destination, binding up our wounds to keep the blood beating on the inside, where it belongs

and I almost felt peaceful until I heard a slaver of breath and saw the black dog framed inside the blue, barking to let me know that he has finally caught up with me, and that the hospital I was being transported to was moored by cemetery gates

the paramedic looked down at me and winked

nearly there, he said