January 17

Sharing the Apocalypse: A Poem


Honey, there’s been another

death on the television.

Look at those news anchors trembling

with compassion-laced excitement;

hear how they breathe concern

around syllables of grim detail

as if to sublimate the message,

Life itself is enough: appreciate it.


I already do.

But I don’t want to expand my thoughts

to embrace lurid aftermaths of war,

illness, family room disputes,

or freak mechanical accidents.

Yet as cameras pan to interview

surviving loved ones,

I can’t resist urges to rehearse

their grief as if it were my own.

Lean closer, my darling,

hold me while they dust for fingerprints,

tweeze bullets from a doorframe,

sift through charred wreckage,

and pull bodies from the lake.