Each busted tire on the lawn was Joe’s
owner of the only greasy spoon in town
name may be a pseudonym
like the lights we project into the air 

after nine o’clock
the sky pinker than bubble gum
ancient drive-in theaters age
overgrown weeds stuck in cracks

begin the most popular shows
at summer’s end during the hazy evenings
when the silent leaves
shake in front of every single sunset 

I witnessed
omens telling us that
he’s been open for business
for decades now

but not tomorrow.



When I was a kid
I would sit and wait
For minutes in the evening

There was this moment at sunset
You could see a flash of green light
Just above the sun’s head

A halo, a holy image
More glorious than the face
Of the Virgin Mary on toast

You had to strain your eyes
They would water and burn
To catch that second when you’d see

That unnatural tint of green
But with clouds and thunder
That hue would order us to run

Because we aren’t as safe as we once were.

KEVIN RISNER is currently ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work can be found online in multiple locations: The Rising Phoenix Review, Red Flag Poetry, the murmur house, Silver Birch Press, and others. His chapbook, My Ear is a Sieve, will be available from Bottlecap Press in October 2017.