by MaKenzie Jean Copp
I fear not that the world will end
in some biblical commotion—
the apocalypse knocking at my door
with a harem of fire and ice,
a herd of death and destruction—
but, that upon hearing her knock,
I will open the door to her like an old friend.
I am fear stricken not by the end times,
but by the haunting smile that might feel at home on my face,
haunting because it perceives the world not with eyes,
but with the grinning and bearing of teeth
which have gnawed to excess
on the gristly meat of tragedy.
I fear that fire, as it consumes the earth,
might look to me like autumn running through the hills of New England,
might smell like my father stocking the hearth.
I fear that locusts, singing battle cries,
will echo springtime in my ears:
the clement tunes of fiddling crickets and operatic peeper frogs.
I fear that tornadoes, swimming towards me through darkened skies,
might seem like nothing more than the clamor of crunching leaves
that often dance around my dooryard.
I fear that on a summer evening,
if I walk through the wild fields and stumble across a gash in the earth,
where plates have shifted,
and the world has started to unstitch its fragile skin,
showing me its bones,
I might see only a red pebbled river;
I might lie next to it in the tall grass;
I might stargaze, and hum a tune of promised lands,
and the asteroids falling down around me might reflect in my humble tears
the twinkle of the north star.
I fear not that the world will someday end,
in biblical commotion or silent prayer;
I fear, rather, a haunting smile, and a feeling of home,
for the end times might already be here.