Meteor

by Adam Tamashasky Issue: Fall 2017 Special Issue on Extinction
Because children are, at root, awful,
my daughter has invented “Chicxulub”
because “Cheek-Shaloub” sounds funny
and because it’s an easy game:

she puts her friends into a group,
like strangers waiting for the H2 to Petworth—
stand here and pretend to chew grass; you, chase that one—
and the children obey.

She walks away—away away. Round the corner away.
It’s quiet; the friends amble. The chewer chews on.
My daughter’s gone; the time ambles on, too.
I stare at the corner. No one’s coming.

Then a scream—and I know how I’ve failed
how I never should have let her go and
never let her walk around that corner and
how I’ll never again eat without pain—

and here she comes, screaming, become meteor,
a roar incarnate, a flaming death,
a jerky trajectory of hair and arms toward the sedate group
into which she slams with gasping delight.

I know something of the way
a Yucatan theropod must have sighed,
looking up to catch the last beautiful sight of its life:
an onrushing light that would stop one world to begin another.


Adam Tamashasky

Adam Tamashasky lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and went to the University of Dayton for undergrad, and then to AU for an MFA. His fiction has appeared in The Bellevue Literary Review and Redivider, among other journals, and his poetry has appeared in 491 Magazine and the spring 2017 issue of the Innisfree Poetry Journal.