Saturday, 31 December 2016


by Kathy Conde

We took the pulse of earth
seismic soundings
for ebony lakes of hidden energy.
Our youth and our god
detected through explosions
demanded audacity.

Flying us to the field
the pilot, a war vet,
clutched the control stick
put us into a hammerhead stall
and said, "I turned
one of these choppers over once."
but so was his grin
as the helicopter’s glass bubble
hesitated at the crest of the climb.

The silence of the killed
engine roared in our ears.
We tilted toward earth,
our toes white from pushing
brake pedals that weren't there.
Our fingers spread wide
in surrender. There was nothing
to hold on to. Even the air           
was falling with us.

* * * * *

"Energy Exploration" first appeared in Wazee Journal.

Kathy Conde won the Crab Orchard Review Jack Dyer Fiction Prize 2014. She has also won prizes and scholarships from Salem International Literary Awards, Munster’s Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition, and the Aspen Writers' Foundation. Her stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, Southword, Underground VoicesWord Riot, and others. She lives in Colorado with her husband and son. You can see more of her work at

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