The old era smelled rotten
like rancid motor oil. On the horizon,
machinations of gods
rumbled like impending darkness,
releasing missing letters
and links upon the world
to spell the message:
The world is collapsing.
What are you looking for?
In response we extracted
warped notes from musicals
like Hedwig and the Angry Inch,
injecting them into mirrors
so we could watch them transform
into red, malignant storms.
We were always singing ballads
of stolen adulthood
and curtailed childhood
until we learned how to make
enchantments from broken strands
and release songs of judgment
and decay, wearing necklaces
the wind did not finish. Underground,
skeletons of horses and dogs
pulsed like phosphorescent ghosts.
We danced with them in the basement,
tuning in to radio static that crackled
under a dangling bulb, mercury everywhere.
Strings of little lights burned all night,
coating our tongues bright gold.
Susan Michele Coronel is a New York City-based poet and educator. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Spillway 29,The Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, The Night Heron Barks, Prometheus Dreaming, One Art, Funicular, TAB Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Passengers Journal. In 2020, she received a Parent Poet Fellowship from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. This year, she received a Pushcart nomination and was a first runner-up for the Beacon Street Prize. She recently completed a manuscript of her first book.