THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE NEW WORLD
It was all over the news.
Beaming down from the thin
red and blue line
overhead was only rain,
nothing else. Edith, and what happened
to god, I ask?
He moved on. To another planet
with more potential, she says.
It’s just people now.
Edith loves Honduras
for the reason I love Appalachia,
like a blade pressed
to our faces. Darwin said one couldn’t die
without trying to
live at least a little bit. I’m creating
a new award for the living.
Calling it the dead canaries.
Like the Nobels, they will pay homage
to the dead, by rewarding the living.
They will be for the yellow world,
and the world that tastes like strawberries
and the world just before dusk and the world
of park swings on windy days
and the new, new world.
They will be for the kind
of foreshadowing I care about.
We will take home the first dead canaries for haiku.
We will put it on our metaphysical mantle
next to theoretical pictures
of our grandmothers. We will give
a dead canary to the rain
against the windows, turning to snow,
the grass turning to snow too
in the category of foreshadowing something,
long after we’ve waited
to see how this thing will play out,
white knuckled and fearless
of what we will know to be true.
Keegan Lester is the poetry editor and co-founder of the journal: Souvenir. His poetry has been published in: CutBank, Ilk Journal, Sixth Finch, The Barn Owl Review, and Death Hums among others, as well as an online reading for: Yes, Poetry. He lives is Morgantown, West Virginia and currently works for West Virginia University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He likes airports and flying. He earned his MFA from Columbia University.