Deborah DeNicola Margate (Barbra Nightingale)
And After Armageddon . . .
Everything’s waiting to open.
Especially the wings of that beached dragonfly,
the one that lit on the sand, observing the gulls,
the effortless gliding of gulls. Their ease and grace
over ruined dunes. And those pipers, their skinny legs
moving as if motored by batteries. I watch as they march
with staccato footsteps, stalking midges and mayflies
in chinks of light, thrilled— just to have survived.
I wait for the ocean to open its benthic rise,
broken sediment, the sea that levels this twilight.
The gulls pull on the capes of their wings,
they know what liberates the four-chambered
heart and opens its ventricles. What small deliverance
we had is now exposed like a castle’s casement,
an old oak door we stepped through at the edge
of the moat— Can’t we rejoice as the clouds
open their raiment and radiant salmon colors
the sky, calls us to worship the sun--
despite the gift of night coming on?
Notice the brilliance of stars fastened
to the horizon. When will we stop
interrogating our souls, instead throw them wide,
allow them to leave our bones behind to stencil the sand,
taking only the shadows of our appendages—
allowing this world to dissolve
at the threshold of infinite others?
Originally published in Vox Populi June 27, 2022 1 day only online
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