- Green to Ash, and: Warn the Future
green to ash
The no-cloud-at-all sky, the whisper of never in weather as in— the mind blanks. Night, that cloud,
but it's hot even under the moon the furrowslie fallow under, and the dust plumes and plumes,even the weeds lie flat in the morning, the deep green of the last drop turns a scumdried black at the tank,
the tank ringed where hope evaporates.
The birds leave off circling and pantunder the curled leaves of the sagging trees, the sun bare but innocent, everywhere
rippled stalks so light light fills them with empty—
As if some terrible massacre has occurred,no one goes outdoors. [End Page 108]
warn the future
Semaphore and sirens, a fist to the mouth to muffle a screeched Nowhile the future's Yes models nude.I'm not looking
at sand screws, a big wind,a kick through the roof,bone ache, a bee out of line.I've got two porches, the insurance of debt,the social of insecurity,forty years of foreshadowing, a prime rate.
The lower lip quivers— who sees the hand at the crypt,its nails so intent on growing?
Put shrouds on that boat. [End Page 109]
Terese Svoboda is a poet, novelist, essayist, biographer, and translator. Her recent poetry collections include Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship (2016) and When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems (2015). She is the recipient of the Cecil Hemley Award, the Emily Dickinson Prize, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.