Another Apocalypse Poem, Take 22

Christien Gholson

The new angels arrived yesterday. They arrived in clouds of phthalates-boiled dust. The old phone wires screamed their praise. Everything bowed down to the sound. I woke from a dream of bats circling flare-stacks on a vast plain, then kneeled beside the bed, whispered the secret and holy names of fear.

The new angels arrived yesterday. They have black wings with a six foot spread, wear white hazmat suits. The stark juxtaposition between white and black was once again admired and mimicked by the great fashion houses. No one knows what the angels look like inside those suits. Here’s a theory: I think they are made of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances that were sparked to life by the death-cries of all the lynched.

Ascension, redemption: will the new angels help raise the sperm count, turn the sun back on? This morning, there was an angel in my kitchen, searching the cabinets. Was it hungry? It spread its wings over me. To protect me? To curse me? 

Silent angel, Labtech angel, angel of ravens and the dead, angel of no one and nothing, can you see me? I kneeled, whispered the secret and holy names of fear. 

About the Author

Christien Gholson is the author of several books of poetry, including The No One Poems (Thirty West Publishing); On the Side of the Crow(Hanging Loose Press); All the Beautiful Dead (Bitter Oleander Press); and a novel: A Fish Trapped Inside the Wind (Parthian Books). A long eco-catastrophe-ceremony poem, Tidal Flats, can be found at Mudlark, along with its sequel, Solutions for the End of the World, at The American Journal of Poetry. He lives in Oregon.