Margeaux Walter © 2012 All Rights Reserved
With every disturbance, something new
disappears. If you place a forest
under a snowflake, it will become invisible
as if winter was a real season
on serious earth.
If you scratch the names of your dead
in the rumble of each tree, there will be nothing
for the deer to eat in that wood of signatures.
There is no sleep among the ice slivers,
amid the sky’s rime—no refuge
from poems about death.
There are wolves singing
the apocalypse as that snowstorm
erupts homesick for sky,
a ferocious shudder. The forest
falls tamarack by pine
until the world is eclipsed
by swarms of dazzled insects.
We still sing the names of our dead,
hold the words on our tongues
until everything else melts.
The Last Day of Creation
We are wired for the end. We will grow
weary of omens of the apocalypse,
of cafeteria slop, of all those new words
we’ve invented for hunger. When we eat,
the letters will stick to our palates,
scraps of sentences we never meant
to serve. When we eat, we will choke
down whole flocks of birds, then craft
new animals from their bones. One day
our children will barely survive
electricity’s rediscovery, will forget
to sift through ashes for our names
as they fling lightning yawing
over the evening’s bruised belly.
Now, I grind my teeth—the sparks
blush bright against the blacktop
because there is nothing to burn.
When the lights go out, you spit up
swarms of fireflies, set the night ablaze
with a promise of a good fight. We walk
into a new day, our bodies glowing.
W. Todd Kaneko lives and writes in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work has appeared in Bellingham Review, Los Angeles Review, Southeast Review, Lantern Review, NANO Fiction, the Collagist and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop. He teaches at Grand Valley State University. Visit him at www.toddkaneko.com.
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