In the beginning was our stuff, like a vast empty yard
where grass-seed was scattered, and at first
shards, bare shoots, patches here and there,
until a great lawn of things everywhere sprang up
and covered the ground and the deep.
Our trash is soaked with us. Our boats
skrim through the plastic souls we shudder.
I want to tear up the house from its foundation
and empty it, want our stuff to get lost like the names
of characters in almost every book I’ve read
and almost every single student I’ve ever taught
(it’s magical how settings remain, like the white
wrought iron bed, your ideal chair, its thousands
of particulars: Eames, caneback, wicker, a nickel
plated lowrise that bears the impression
of a tall man sitting in it with his legs crossed).
They rise up and sink, drift by the boat like scores.
Even love has multiplied beyond our ability
to count. The coasts flood first, then the seasons
were unmoored (nothing gold can stay). Now the flash,
currents knocking us off our feet. We cling
to tree branches, reach out for fingerholds.
And this sweeping away, we’ve longed for it
to tell the truth, to finally be clean.
The Apocalypse We Always Hoped For
1 February 2018