Summer 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2013 |

Separate City: Prose Poems: The End

When the next quake startles the cows, bringing down glass and sending up ashes, the superstitious will say we deserved it. Hidden rivers will burst toward the surface. Discos will shake like a water bed. Strays will forage behind once locked doors. Miles away, in the quiet, nests waver but hold inside the forest. Turn off the gas, turn off the stove, the meal is ruined. Helicopters confirm the burning. Guitars tune up: tragedy needs a song. There will be no end. For now we're bent to the depths of it, the new death, because we should've seen it coming. And then we rise and search the cupboard for recipes. Sirens sound needles but not for you. Someone else hauls away the debris. Where will you go? To your friends who collect guns or the ones who serve gin, getting lit before stumbling home to sweep up your share of the wreckage?

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Keith Ekiss is a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of Pima Road Notebook (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010) and the translator of The Fire’s Journey by the Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio (Tavern Books, Fall 2012).

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