Jessica Poli

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THE END OF THE WORLD TAKES ONE MONTH

You hold in your hand a grapefruit rind or a butchered jellyfish. Mom is calling to say she’s been sleeping outside with the coyotes and Dad won’t clean the house. The tea has been boiling over for days. Meanwhile, every animal lays down under the wind. They’re watching the Earth get eaten by heat. The sun starts to swallow the moon as a sheep screams, a bear drowns itself in a lake. You’re asking yourself, How do I live before I die?—Drink plenty of water. Try and remember that everything in the universe wears out. Go outside and cry. Sink your teeth into rind or fish. Plant your palms to dirt. Call your mother back. Breathe normally.

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WE’LL TELL OUR CHILDREN THAT WE TRIED

Pythia draws in crayon
across the moon—brightly colored
hieroglyphics that we’re sure
mean something.
There are so many
moths on the moon! There
are so many moons in a month.
Pythia is jumping up and down
and waving, but we’re busy considering
if the best time to mow the lawn is
when the sky turns thunder-storm green.
Also, the foam pouring
out of the dishwasher is our fault.
Also, we’ve begun to worship cockroaches.
At the end of the day, the blurry shadow
on the moon is alone and we’re still looking
for a way out of this dying universe.

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