In the Next Next World

That sound Arvo Pärt does with one piano note

stars split, fade, wander

in cosmic expansion—

First responder’s genesis and torch of

metadatacrunch tumbling in a 

burnt and weedy churchyard

equal parts Lethe and lithe—

Grass, is it hollow, hallow

to wake no longer among

mortals? The woman her dress flowered

from a blown ceiling silver-rosed—

Flat plasm’s

archangel coming clear out

of sheetrock and screen

shield and spear in hand

let us do all the cooking 

if she will lead the pack, remember the route, read the waters—

After the great fire we

tread river’s late cream and flare.

We woke in a city.

Where who slew us into portions

on a block out of earth

gathered our limbs 

and we were allowed to continue 

unhunted. If “if” is the one word one is given with God 

to explain how one survived.

Oh.  Ah.  Siren,

white cockatoo

meets deep


Fog.  Pour ammonia

on coyote 


Gillian Conoley, "In the Next Next World" Copyright © 2018 by Gillian Conoley. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow.
Source: PoetryNow (2018)