a worksong for the apocalypse: Devon Miller-Duggan. These Days.

16 Nov

These Days


As if a beach were a forest, a copse of cops surrounds a woman whose heart wants her skin covered. They’re rooted. They’re a fortress. They keep her from water. The globe itself mantles itself against the sun. The skin lives in terror of globs and explosions, grim-firing cells. Grime accumulates beneath the thinning mantle, thinning the mantle. But the mantling holds the trees and waters, rocks and air here. Here is where the woman wants to study water, to hear it silk around her body like melody, salt her tearless face. She wants to read the foiled glint-prayers of water and wave-break, ready herself to float away from the rock-ridden shores. Oh, Monsieur Voltaire, the beaches of Marseilles and Nice are not the best of all possible beaches. The copse has no roots. Cops are storms. This poem has no speaker. Thousand-year storms choke the roots of trees, drown ground already soaked down to its bedrock with swamp and brack-water so richly its air is stew and black and white drown like dismasted boats together. No water high enough to suit the sky; no country low enough to stop us melting more. The human heart’s all tunnel and ditch and wants filling. The baleful crows of the Morrigan pick at the crown of what we’ve made of Earth’s body. She’s angered, wants her body left alone. Each body sacred and separate and holy thing, and too many bodies for death, for covering, for breath. Let the crows feast, yet not on any body born of woman. The cops fly upward into the sun, become a crown for the woman. “Oh, my love, watch me drown myself in my own mind’s copse; I will become fairy-ring, aspen-grove—one-in-many, countlessness-in-one, all quivering stasis, rooted and flying, both.” The woman speaks: Mais, je suis un citoyene. Je suis votre soeur. The water sings its anthem, believes in no law, receives or takes every human thing. Our bodies are held in lien. Because nothing is alien. Because the woman who speaks this holds crows in her hands.



Devon Miller-Duggan









One Response to “a worksong for the apocalypse: Devon Miller-Duggan. These Days.”


  1. recent poems from Devon Miller-Duggan | pea river journal - July 7, 2018

    […] published her poems “Broken Line with Subtitles” and “These Days” in PRJ 4, Worksongs for the Apocalypse. Keep an eye out for her upcoming […]

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