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Everything Burns Going Down

and i couldn’t help

but watch as he plugged himself

into the refueling station again

hooked up to the metallic tank,

silver tendrils coiling out to connect

to his gastric nexus, converting

synaptic elixir to social nerve.

here’s to the apocalypse spills

from out-of-pocket lips, convinced

lifeproofing is at least 50% vital

for survival. but the refueling

station pays no mind to his

irony deficiency. the refueling

station doesn’t discriminate

against combustible customers.

everything burns going down—

including these words, which sear

like the refueling station pills

sold separately in packs of one

that come in only two flavors:

hard and bitter.

Russell Nichols is a speculative fiction writer and endangered journalist. Raised in Richmond, California, he got rid of all his stuff in 2011 to live out of a backpack with his wife, vagabonding around the world ever since. Look for him at

Radon Journal Issue 6 cover art
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