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So as we look at this, we can expect something like a wound
made of fire opening in the sky around this rotation here.
Already a falling of frogs has begun to fill local lawns

and parking lots in Fredericksburg, clogging gutters
and ditches. And to the southeast of Adams County, the dead
are beginning to walk again. And you see this red blob

to the east of Cleves? We have no idea what that is, but it appears
to be erasing all forms of matter, leaving behind nameless voids,
locals who’ve looked into them report seeing a nothingness of being

that filled them with an unshakeable dread, comparable to
a horrible nightmare from which they can never awake. Now
there’s also talk of angels touching down in the woods and fields

around Elizabethtown, so you’ll want to avoid those areas
where you can, unless you want the wrath of their light
to dry all your fluids and reduce you to a powder made up

of only your most base elements. And while it’s the middle
of the day, a starless blackness like the dark of night has
descended upon the tri-county area here, and the fabric of time

itself has begun to tear and collapse, to the point
that, as I stand before you now, viewers, I’m also
standing again, as a child, in my mother’s kitchen.

She’s alive once more and handing me a plate
of graham crackers and a glass of chocolate milk,
the way she used to every day when I’d come home

from school. Viewers, I don’t know if you can see now
the tears flooding my face as if my eyes were storm clouds.
She’s telling me this is the end. Go not to your houses of worship.

Go instead to those you love who love you most, for if God
is anywhere, He is there. She’s leaving now. In this kitchen
that I never knew was infinite, all color is fading. Mother,

wait. Viewers, there’s a gate she’s walking through
made of smokeless flame and shadowless light. As I look
into it, viewers, for the first time in a long time, I feel

the dissolution of a loneliness that’s lived for years within me.
I must decide now if I will follow. Otherwise, we can expect
a slight chance of showers heading into our weekend,

but by Wednesday, we’re going to see a significant dip
in temperatures, it’ll be a good opportunity to get outside
and get some of that end-of-summer landscaping finished.

If we should come back from this sponsor break,
Chad Lewis will be here to bring you the latest
in sports this week. I’m Jeff Mann with Metro Weather.

Mother, don’t go. I don’t want this painlessness to end.
I can feel my body diffusing into metaphysical residue. Oh,
the beauty I’m becoming now, it’s almost unendurable.



Marcus Whalbring’s third collection (A Concert of Rivers) appeared in 2021 from Milk & Cake Press. His poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Abyss & Apex, Spry, Pittsburgh Quarterly and others. His fiction is forthcoming from Spaceports & Spidersilk. He earned his MFA from Miami University. He lives in Indiana with his wife and kids.
Current Issue
20 May 2024

Andrew was convinced the writer had been trans. By this point his friends were tired of hearing about it, but he had no one else to tell besides the internet, and he was too smart for that. That would be asking for it.
You can see him / because you imagine reconciliation.
It’s your turn now. / the bombs have come in the same temper— / you in your granny’s frame
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