By Johnathan McCauley


I fell asleep

at the wheel

once, on my

way north to Pittsburgh.

Easily lulled

into dreams

by and of

the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Car horns blared from the

other lane

along with

sounds of metal

grinding against rock

my chest thrown

and yanked back

by the seat belt.

One hundred foot drop.

I plunged toward

the rocky

Whitestick Creek bed.

Yelling up nothing.

Clenching hands.

Gut on fire.

But I heard horns

and I woke up

with two wheels

over the

safety sleeper strips.

I jerked the car

and was tossed

by the tires

back into my lane.

Body burning

I checked my

rear view but

saw only the road.


Buffalo-born Wake Forest graduate Johnathan McCauley will matriculate from the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science in Spring 2017. Nature features heavily in his work and is also a constant source of inspiration for McCauley. His culminating project for his Master’s degree is a creative non-fiction novella set in southern tobacco country. He aspires to have “Scintilla” available in print by fall 2017.