a journal of fantastical poetry

Post-Millennial Augury Blues

by Sonya Taaffe

Read your own liver if you want to know the future
beyond your hesitating fingers and your heart
which asks to meet itself in every stranger
like a popular song
the whole city is humming
while all the pianos in it burn down.
Did knowing the number of birds
veering north-northwest over the horizon
profit the wolf-twins
when one of them ended in imperial bronze
and the other a grave
of brick, then marble, and blood?
When you reboot the twentieth century,
all the atrocities run together
so you can pick your favorite
and play the prescient ghost.
Mine has trenches, partisans, Carthage
remixed from salt to radioactive glass,
a golem made of birch bark and yahrzeit wax,
insomnia like an angel sitting at the end of my bed.
She offers poppies,
Death gathers sticks of violets,
both of them read the headlines before I do.
The only one of us left standing by the late edition
walks home alone through streets
fluttering with stars and ribbons,
quilts her name into memory and disappears.
With a smile of blood and bathwater,
Kassandra without looking up from her phone
changes the channel, leaves the television blaring
static you cannot read.

January 20th, 2017

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