When I was a girl, B1’s from Wichita flew west
in practice runs, split the air into prisms of shaking glass.
Once riding home from church, I didn’t see the shadow
passing, only heard the rumble. It became
our car exploding, some bubble of fuel escaping.
We were bursting into little stars, breaking apart.
I watched the back of my father’s head, wondered
if he’d keep driving all the way: mom in the passenger seat,
my brother silent between them. Would we have to
disperse quietly into angels or dust? Was he the only one
allowed to scream? My sister leaned across
the backseat next to me. “Did you see it?” she whispered.
I looked away, shook my head, felt my two hands.
The sky was empty, and we were almost home.
Originally from Kansas, Shelly Krehbiel lives and works in Eugene, Oregon. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles.