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2007

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No, This Is the Way the World Ends (after T.S. Eliot)
Lynnell Edwards

This one will rattle your teeth.

It will be plates of glass an acre wide
breaking in the sky,
                        (you’ve had this dream before)
and you will be blown back
on your heels, staggering
into morning and smoke
where there might be ladders
that sway up toward heaven,
and there might be devils
clawing at your hair,
and there might be waves
of concrete coming down
like falls at the edge of the Earth
where there are dragons
panting in the blackness.

You can ask for god’s
peace like a narcotic
breathed over this apocalypse,
but do not forget to hold
your own breath
when you dive into the wreck.

Blind your eyes to the terrible ash,
thick and hot as acid.
Hear how your ape heart beats
wild against the corridors, collapsing
in the wake of rising salvation.

We will forage like dogs before this is over;
we will not remember how to sleep.