Brian Rihlmann

One Man’s Plan to Contain Urban Sprawl

“Nothing you can do”
a friend told him
but that was never true

a large roadside sign
showed the finished product
as conceived
by brilliant architectural minds

five stories of earth toned
stucco abomination
blocking his mountain view
from the house he’d lived in for years

he wouldn’t have it

it began with small sabotage
slashing tires of trucks and loaders
filling pipes with rocks
setting fires

security increased
cameras and fences
nighttime guards
walking the beat

a new plan was devised
the fuel obtained
(don’t ask from where)
blueprints discovered online

and he was smart
he actually figured it out
but for a slight miscalculation

he’d intended to build
a small one

but when it went off
he had only a millisecond
to admire the glowing shaft
with its mushroom head
rising like a morning hard on
above the city

before he vaporized
into a dark shadow
on the rocks behind

as the city burned
leaving a pristine black crater
and a fabulous mountain view

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