Though it hardly seems fitting
anymore, the news media are keeping the term
“end of days,” if only because
they couldn’t come up with something better
on such short notice.
You cannot blame them.
When the voice of God boomed
like a split atom over yesterday’s
five o’clock traffic and announced
that the end was no longer near but here,
I think we all expected something
big: rain of fire, a splitting of the earth,
those damn locusts, at least.
Instead, almond moths have taken over
one in three pantries in America.
We all woke to lawnmowers
that wouldn’t start, still took our morning coffee
but took it black, on account of finding our milk spoiled.
There’s word the F train in New York is seriously delayed,
and don’t even get the Bostonians started on the state of the T.
The price of avocados has gone up
by an average of seventeen cents,
tree pollen season’s hanging around
too late into summer, and nowhere in the world
can one find a good pint of mint chip.
But other than that, by and large,
everyone seems okay, if not
As of yet, no dead raised
no eighth angel
no pale green horse
not even Noah, reprising
his ark. The Euphrates—we’ve checked—
still wet. The doomsday preppers are torn
over the appropriateness of the phrase
We told you so.
Many meet these minutiae of misery
with disappointment. This is not, after all, the ending
we’ve learnt all our lives to fear.
We’re grateful for that lack
of black sun, blood moon, seven-headed
sea beast—but that doesn’t mean
we didn’t want, at least a little bit,
to see it for ourselves.
And One Other Thing
which I had almost forgotten about
but which is nevertheless true:
two separate years, robins made a nest
on my fire escape, back when I lived
with my mother in our two-bedroom,
color of a horse’s-cart. The eggs
were a little paler, I think,
than they should’ve been
(malnourished urban robins)
but the chicks all survived,
or most of them, anyway—
and it really was something,
watching them come into the world
rudely, blue shards crowning
their wrinkles. There’s nothing more
to say about it other than that
one shouldn’t be allowed to bear witness
to that sort of thing twice.
But I trust it’ll all even out in the end.
Were I not so opposed to the word,
I might call it a miracle.
Aaron Magloire is from Queens and studies English and African American Studies at Yale University. His work has appeared in the 2021 Best New Poets anthology, Quarterly West, and elsewhere.