Looking Ahead by Julia Chiapella

On the last day of the world
the children laugh. How
can they know? They pick up
stones, pockmarked, flat,
dap them through rising
waters, their voices
littered with glee.

On the last day of the world
no one cries. The neighbor
pulls out her cello, plays
Albinoni’s Adagio in G
minor from the rooftop
until the dark pulls its
covers over the strings.

We look out the window.
Count to ten. Forget
what ten means.
The month of May.
How to read a clock.

Wouldn’t you want it
like this? Oblivion nothing
but sweetness on the tongue.
The world merely a suggestion.

view of city from high rooftop
Nairobi Skyline by Make it Kenya. CC license.

Julia Chiapella
Julia Chiapella’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, I-70 Review, The MacGuffin, Midwest Quarterly, Perceptions Magazine, and The Wax Paper. She is the retired director of the Young Writers Program, which she established in 2012, opening an after-school writing lab and adjacent gallery—The Word Lab and the Chamber of Heart & Mystery—at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. She received the Gail Rich Award in 2017 for creative contributions to Santa Cruz County.

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