from Staying Alive

Laura Sims

When the culture passed over:

we bathed in its light in its fear in its

mountain stream. We left mountains

of carts full of junk behind. We bade them

farewell. They bade us weep

and know shame

They bade us be hard.

Without power, I wielded

my body

Star wars & ax wars & the letting of blood. The last beast dies. And under the "starry arch of heaven" and in the "stony Middleworld of earth," and even in the "dark waters of the underworld," we celebrate over the phonograph. How the tune it plays echoes wetly. Like we're underwater again in the days when the sky was a crocodile, like we're the ones thinning the membrane: the beast comes back, comes slithering

The present sheared

asunder from its parent cliffs and all the past was just

the sound of metal


at the edge of space

at dawn. Who'd hump

the wretched future now? To every blasted city

numbed and stilled—

the light! It came from underneath—inside the earth—and shining upward, through

the rocks, the ground, and everything