Olive Branch

by Jonathan Travelstead

To boldly go where no one has gone before

Hungry, we send for help as salt water floods
Kentucky Bay. Derechos litter the fields with whitefish,
fallow wind, & red snapper the New Madrid’s
split faultline yogs down

before we can net. First we knew the tide
was rising we retreated to mountain caves where we flung
doves ‘round the moon. They returned with Mylar
& memory foam, clear instructions

for making the air good again with pvc
& duct tape. Hunger drives & hope compels, so we
clutched farther, boomeranged our emissaries
around the red planet. They returned

with unexpected treasures. A ghostly,
blue foam. Fireproof, perfect insulation. Space lettuce.
The promise that next time they will cure
our water’s dusty brine

with a starlight of LEDs. Hunger forgotten,
we sling NASA’s seraphs further into heaven, holding
to prayer’s science like the blast door handles.
Suspended in hammocks between silos

& our amber sleep, we wonder, when they return,
what new gifts they will bring us?

Copyright 2016, Jonathan Travelstead

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro, and co-editor for Cobalt Review. He has published work in The Iowa Review, on Poetrydaily.com, and has work forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review, among others. His first collection How We Bury Our Dead was released by Cobalt Press in March, 2015, and his Conflict Tours is forthcoming in Spring of 2017.

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