Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

CHIP [sic]

And there it was. Big. Big, big, big. Big as all get out. Filling up the sky just outside the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Some said it was a balloon, a very, very, big balloon. Or a dollop of silver, polished smooth, buffed to a blinding brilliance, and as though it were a silver sun.

A clean, smooth surface. No seams, no portals, no symbols. No nothing. Not exactly your classic saucer, but close enough. Just parked there. Not even hovering, really. It was just there. It just appeared. Satellite images showed it wasn’t round at all but was more an oval or football shape. Coney Island never had an attraction like this. Now it did.

Those who could help losing it, in their pants, were otherwise dropping to their knees in a helpless, petrified fright. Some were crying, whimpering, mumbling prayers. Most were just frozen stiff. But just as deliriously, everyone was up on their feet again, yelling and pointing. Do you see it too? And there was gunfire. Lots of it. Some even managed a perch on the bridge. They were chased off by the cops.

First thing they did, they being them, the politicians and the DOD, was to close the bridge. For two days the bridge was closed to everyone—everyone and every sort of activity, including the politicians, and including the DOD. And then, on the third day, white tents began to sprout. The outbound side was kept open for essential traffic. And Fort Hamilton, just below, was born again. The white tents belonged to FEMA.

On the morning of the fourth day a plan of sorts was tried. A Coast Guard Predator MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Surveillance drone, followed by a gleaming signal-red Dolphin helicopter, left Egg Harbor and headed north along the coast. Flying low, the helicopter and its drone escort at first swung wide over Brooklyn and then circled over New York Bay. They continued over Staten Island and came out over Lower Bay where they slowed and stopped to hover just south of the thing.

And then they tried an approach. First the drone and then the helicopter, they made as though to land on the thing.

But something happened. First the drone, it began to spin and then was, as though, flicked out of the ambit of the object. It was useless, then, and smashed into the ocean. The helicopter was as though caught in a strong undertow, and then was spit out. The crew described it as happening internally, total disorientation, like being caught in a strong undertow, or, as one crewman described it, being inside a clothes dryer. And as though aware of the living crew inside, they were spared the crash landing and were merely pushed away.

And thus the extent of the physics of it. . . .

It was there. Period. And there it is, today, thirty years later. It’s just there. Chip [sic].

Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino’s poetry and prose have appeared in Barrow Street, New York Tyrant and StylusLit.  His books include The Valise (Dead Academics Press, 2012), a volume of poetry, and the novels Stephen’s Landing (Adelaide Books, 2020) and Suicide by Language (Eratio Editions, 2022).  He lives in Brooklyn Heights, NY, where he works as a private docent.