All I want: a fresh
head of teeth and sinew,
some maggots held at bay,
a $50 bottle of wine,
and some socks not yet holed.
When the guy comes down
with his flash-cards and tests
me, I want the answers written
on my wrists, for referral, instruction,
and a quick way out if it goes wrong.
God or whatever it is
as the bible itself is a kill pill,
a way to go quick to that fair land.
First there is fire,
then a corona of spritely donkeys
swinging chains and baying carols
into the smoke that lifts us up. High
where we belong, where the clouds
flip through our notes and thumb
our pages, disappointed. “Did you think
a thirty-dollar smudge would cleanse
your aura? Why didn’t you just look into
our cumuli and ask for help? You’d know your end
in our constant condensation, conversation
that illuminates your fog.”
We never thought of that.
That the end might be boring
to the earth. Ends happen
all the time, they finish us daily. We get old,
breath stops. Sweet retrieval
of constant concern---who is this angel
of the end times? Just the big old
global brain and its squat throb
on a basic axis, sending visions
into the mist. Hail the end---
it’s just the season
to get lit.
You will win
It will cost you more
than three beers
to get your wrists sore.
Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Her work has appeared in magazines including Dig, What!, subTerrain, This and Who Torched Rancho Diablo? She is the author of many chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, Simple Master (Pedlar Press), Flutter (Mansﬁeld Press) and most recently, Holler (Mansfield Press).