The era of denial being over, this is how I bargain.
On the street, a girl in white sings, the end is near,
in a voice so high and soft, one can hardly hear her.
When I was younger and in love, I used to cross roads very carefully,
afraid that the miracle would end with my tragic death.
To stop himself from snoring me awake at night, my boyfriend
props himself up as we sleep.
Though he’s still dozing, he’ll laugh and pull my hips into his,
a nighttime caesura, messy sheets soaked in June-sweat.
We should teach everyone the caesura, a breath more poetic than the gentle stop
of the comma.
When I pray, I pray that we are unwittingly perfect for that long, the length
of a pause, 7 billion monkeys typing a brief paradise.
Without planning or noticing, half of us are caught in the soft net of sleep,
while the other yawns at our grandmother’s feet, mouths in round hosannas.
And because all at once we want for nothing, God carves
a checkmark in her notes before losing them, the moment breathing
in memory like a second fall, our lives in cascading Edens.
If my wedding vows are in verse, I will promise him not virtue
but a dignified cataclysm.
If we burn, I will give him the same as now, pause
and the darkness.
Meg Reynolds is a poet, artist, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared The Missing Slate, Mid-American Review, Fugue, Sixth Finch, The Offing, Inverted Syntax and the anthology Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman as well as The Book of Donuts and With You: Withdrawn Poems of the #Metoo Movement. She was recently selected as Fearsome Critter's Top Hybrid Works Contributor. Get to know her on Instagram at megreynolds_poet and Twitter at megreynolds_poetry. Her website is megreynoldspoetry.com.