The Asphalt Below

Stockpiling fission fire
on either side of an aspirated fence,

a fizzling stick waving wildly,
raised to beat a ghost.

I am walking down the street with
no one watching. Wind blows.

An umbrella turns over near the gutter,
broken and clanking. A shutter whines closed.

Inside my pockets I search for a book
I read long ago. It held a poem

called The Telling. When I read it, I gripped
my sweater tight around me, and grew old.

The ground disappears acre by acre
until we have no place to shake hands.

Then I dream the sixth extinction is averted.
The memory of mammoths resurfaces as prophecy.


Cara Murray

Cara Murray's poetry is included in Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of race, class and gender (Routledge), Only Light Can Do That (PEN Center USA), Weaving the Terrain: 100-Word Southwestern Poems (Dos Gatos Press), and the journals Platte Valley Review and Santa Ana River Review. Her experimental work has appeared in Artis Natura, Obra/Artifact, Otoliths, and shufPoetry.