In which, an apocalypse by Quinn Rennerfeldt

In which, an apocalypse

 

Maybe when we die, the first thing we'll say is, "I know this feeling. I was here before.” -Don DeLillo, White Noise

 

Hands are held
or pocketed; there is less
looting than one might expect.

 

Cars are left to litter
the highway’s otherwise
naked shoulder, one truck’s motor

 

throating along
as its battery drains
beside us.

 

The end might have started
months ago with an underground
sound, or that smell

 

we failed to notice last fall,
honeyed and wet with something
bleach-clean beneath it.

 

But our last day arrives
with a feeling of fine fabric
ripping open as easily

 

as water sluicing beach sand
and the sky seems to catch
on the ribs of our

 

eyes, flattening
to a hard-tack ceiling
above us.

 

Some report rapture or
déjà entendu, but most wait
with the hungry pluck

 

of a newly-minted mouth
ready for its first introduction
to this milk-weighted breast.

 

Quinn Rennerfeldt earned her degree in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her recent works can be found in Bird’s ThumbSassafras Literary Magazine, and Slipstream. When not reading or writing, you might find her running the streets of Denver, searching for strange bugs, or spending time with her daughter, husband, and ornery cat.

 

Poet Jill McDonough chose "In which, an apocalypse" as the winner of the 2015 Peseroff Prize. She admired “the tenderness of this imagined universal ‘last day'; no one ever imagines ’there is less/looting than one might expect,’ and now we see that we should.  Terrific attention to the smell of its starting, 'honeyed and wet,’ as well as ‘bleach-clean’—here we have a hopeful apocalypse poem: a whole new take on the genre.”

 

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