The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Notes on the End of the World” by Meghan Privitello

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“Day 2”

All of the animals are where they don’t belong.
They don’t know how to get to their mothers
who will kill it for them and lay their dinner at their feet
when they find their way home.

I do not have a totem animal.
I do not have a compass.

There is a fire in every tall building.
Eighty boys have already gone missing.

Somewhere strangers are gathering,
which could look like the beginning
of a riot.

We don’t have to do anything about it.

That means we can be happy
with bashfulness and endlessness.

The good news is there is no reason
to make the bed. Bloodwork
is another useless poem.

Whether we wanted to know it
or not, there have always been devils
everywhere.

Birds are them.
Horses are them.
You are them.

What musculature. What flight.

We gather the lizards and snakes,
undress for kinship.

What to serve for dinner with just one
white tablecloth left, no spell
to make bread infinite.


This selection comes from the collection Notes on the End of the World, available from Black Lawrence Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for August is Donna Vorreyer.

Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015) and Notes on the End of the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2016), winner of The Black River Chapbook Competition. Poems have appeared in Guernica, A Public Space, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Best New Poets, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, & elsewhere. She is the recipient of a NJ State Council of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013), as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks. She works as a middle school teacher in the Chicago suburbs.

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