to say that the world is gone to dust
is to say it was never more than skin cells & decay

not the delicate muscle of loam & saltwater
& spiraling hurricane—a construction of fireblazes

you curl your fingers into a strand of ants
reach into their soft molting pupae

& you’re surprised when your flesh turns diseased sallow
as far as you know, this was your last shot to get it right

no replacements no surgeries
no plucking the severed arteries from a car wreck

you needed to touch the moon with your hands
to plant a colony of peculiar seeds in the dry glow

your body wants to be the storm to flood the earth
you created this mud, this muck of an apocalypse—

not alone but alive alongside billions more
who plunge their hands into the earth’s fresh wounds

HANNAH V WARREN is a PhD student at the University of Georgia where she studies poetry and speculative narratives. Her chapbook [re]construction of the necromancer won Sundress Publications’ 2019 chapbook contest, and her works have haunted or will soon appear in Mid-American ReviewMoon City Review, and Redivider.

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