Living Happily at the End of the World

by Jared Beloff

after Ilya Kaminsky and Jorie Graham


The world ends like an almond tree pulled by its roots,

withered brittle

before it could rot.

A field sits fallow as a heat map

angry pixels, dust rising

the color of ash.

A man with a loud tie mimes astonishment on TV:

A deadly heat wave

shattering all records,

as if weather were an adequate measure of pain.

We live happily here,

laying in bed, a fan

protests the heat of our bodies; we worry,

but not enough.

I am dreaming

of ice, an avocado, a bead sliding

down a cocktail,

there’s an ache

ignored behind my eyes, water rising like a pulse,

pressure then release.

We sit up late and

speak of eucalyptus, the shape of convection,

a kangaroo bursts

through the underbrush.

I pass you a drink and we smile, the world on fire around us.



Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. You can find his work in Contrary Magazine, Rise Up Review, Barren Magazine, The Shore and elsewhere. You can find him online at Follow him on twitter @read_instead.



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