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

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“Notes on the End of the World”

On the last day of the world, it rains.
The scorpions are huddling together under an air-conditioner.
Their clicking is the last music you will hear.
You hunger is delirious.
For dinner, you eat blue bread and your throat is too thick with it
to say how pink the sky has become.
If you had a child, you would paint her room this color.
You would name her after it, tell her to become it.
Rosy daughter, you would say. Now you are wavelengths.
You are safe until the sun dies.

*

Where there is smoke, there are circles.
Where there are circles, there are drums.
Where there are drums, there are bells.
Where there are bells, there is loss.

*

I’ve pushed a shopping cart in the dark for days.
I don’t know, anymore, what a day is.
My ankles are swollen like my mother’s when she ate ham.
I’ve asked my husband to drain the water from my body
and make a small lake in my name.
I will put my germs in it.
They will build a home there.
This is either how it begins or how it ends.
Angels, this is your last chance.
You can choose to touch us one last time
and convince us we have always been holy.


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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