Scientists dispatched to the scene announced that the sea was growing both wider and deeper at an approximate rate of 3 yards an hour. The scientists broke off a piece with a hammer and the break healed up within twenty minutes. Analysis with an electron microscope revealed the glass sea to be made of glass. An Associated Press reporter asked the scientists, “what kind of glass?” He received the following reply. “Glass glass. Are you some kind of stupid?”
Officials soon had to contend with an influx of tourists wanting to see the glass for themselves, as well as an outflux of locals trying to get out of its way. In the meantime, the sea spawned a snarl of lawsuits regarding whether homeowners' policies covered belongings trapped in glass. The insurance companies argued that nothing had been destroyed -- just sort of enveloped. "Look at the pictures!," the lawyers argued. "It's all still there." And other lawyers rejoined, "With all due respect to the learned opposing counsel, a Chevy Impala under twenty feet of glass is as good as totaled."
As the sea moved into Knob Noster state park, leaving the pointed tips of pine trees peeking above the surface, and started to encroach on Whiteman Air Force Base, the army got involved. But attempts to melt the glass with flamethrowers only singed off the trapped tree tops. The liquid glass had nowhere to go and rehardened, smooth as ever.
In the end, the sea stopped growing. Seismic tests suggested that an underground source of glass, something like a specialized volcano, had bucked loose and then run out of steam. It remains a tourist attraction. You can fly over the sea and look at the glassy cows. You can buy tacky tshirts that say things like "I'd Tap That Glass." You can even get a piece to take home.
--Maureen Thorson is the author of two books of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), as well as a number of chapbooks and pamphlets, most recently A Good Attitude (Flying Object 2014). She lives in Washington DC, where she is the poetry editor for Open Letters Monthly, an online arts and literature review. Visit her online at www.maureenthorson.com