Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
 
 

TERRI DRAKE

WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT UPHEAVAL

 

e already know about upheaval:
how the earth jerks open with no warning.

We already know the towers will crash,
the planes fall from the sky,

that countries will be invaded, dictators toppled,
torture chambers built on the Cuban coast.

We know the levies won’t hold,
that an entire city will be evacuated,

that other hurricanes, fires, and destruction will follow,
that no praying to Jesus, Mary, or Joseph will save us.

We also know about desire:
the humming birds whirring in the purple sage,

the orphans who get parents,
the rockets shooting skyward,

the crispness of warm linen sheets
against another cold front.

Don’t tell me you haven’t longed for
the afternoon sun slanting its way across the porch,

the smell of fresh bread drifting from the bakery,
the taste of honey drizzled on the tongue,

the sound the forest makes in early morning,
the flush of skin in the naked room.

The earth breaks open over and over again,
our lives fall apart, we find unexpected love,

countries fall, walls come down,
the world performs its steady revolutions.

Born in chaos and uncertainty
I move through the unpredictable cities lit through the night,

take on faith that the stars remain,
that I am washed both towards and away from something.

Tell me, how will you live in your ambiguous skin?
how will I reach you without map or guide

in the badlands between us,
in the skies that open after the rain gives way.