2 Poems, by Travis Stephens


The adjuster wears paper boots over his shoes.
The hills above the valley floor
wear ash coats. These used to be trees.
Fire came like a hot wind of harvest,
a hellfire bounty.
Should have rained before then.
Hills not burned
wearcoats of shame.
Trees not dressed in black
seem frivolous. Where the horses
used to be, bones.
Every burned car looks the same.
Fire season.
Insurance cancelled for good.
The city news channels decide
not to send a van and camera crew.
Seen all this before.
They reserve coverage for an asteroid
that targets the house of a sleeping couple.
Knocks the beejesus out of the roof,
wakes up the dog.
How did it feel?
Show us the asteroid in the kitchen.
Tell us about the sound like thunder.
Tell us about your deductible.


along the freeway
a solitary boot
in the median island
ready to run
a black attitude boot
a shit-kicker
a stomper,
but small.
not a child’s boot;
a woman who knows
how an entrance matters.
how a the notion of
the weaker sex has been
stomped out for good.
daughter, one boot
is all you need

Travis Stephens is a tugboat captain who lives and works in California. His book of poetry, “skeeter bit & still drunk” was published by Finishing Line Press. Visit him at: zolothstephenswriters.com.