I was driving down Route 51
when I felt a teeth-clanging jolt.
I assumed it was my car,
maybe something wrong with the transmission,
so I pulled over
but quickly felt it again,
like being struck by an invisible freight train.
Then I saw the jagged crack, lightning-shaped,
in the black asphalt,
a fracture that widened with every subsequent quake.
I thought I saw something,
so I got out of the car,
peered into the crack in the middle of the road,
broken yellow divider lines.
I looked into the crevasse,
where black smoke was pouring out,
and flames licked the surface of the road.
I noticed then that the asphalt was hot,
the soles of my shoes sticking to the melted tar.
Under my feet was a lake of fire.
They later told us it would burn for a hundred years.
But what I never told anyone else
is that when I peered into the fiery fissure,
I saw something looking back at me,
a very large, black-lidded green eye
narrowed with hate as it met my gaze.