fall 2015 / Poetry 2015 / Uncategorized / Volume 46

Lake Mushroom Cloud—Daniel Moore

No one swims in Lake Mushroom Cloud,

not since the lily pads ate the sun,

not since the banks of bones and dirt

rolled up their sleeves with a hallelujah fist,

and punched a black hole in the face of heaven,

a warning to those who grow weary of time,

not to order from a menu of despair,

not to be desperate to wear the lamb’s blood

before the sheering begins.


For those who once thought this is how

the soul finds its way home, like

an omnicidal god with a mood disorder

deciding when enough was enough,

how shocked they were to have nowhere to strip

and lay the old body down, nowhere to

soak the sin from the bones and backstroke

into tomorrow.


If the hymn of departure is the opera of escape,

heard below the surface of Lake Mushroom Cloud,

while watching God’s ashes float by, perhaps

I should at least try humming the tune,

like whistling Dixie the day we all died,

the day everything went south.

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