Glaciers, By Cassandra Cervi

(an experimental poem: drawn from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-5, and Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants)

All this happened,
more or less.
The Lord rained brimstone and fire
upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
Only stones remained.
Like the moon.

The line of hills,
they were white in the sun.
Like white elephants.
The country was
brown and dry
and everything tasted
like licorice.

Everybody burned,
like glaciers.
The Son of God
was dead as a doornail.
Cinderella
was lamenting.

10 000 people
71 378 people
123 000 people
5 000 000 people
burned
in one way or another.

School girls, Spot the dog, Edgar Derby, Ronald Weary, Martin Luther King jr, the hobo, Robert Kennedy,
his mother
died of
gangrene, hanging, carbon monoxide, pneumonia, starvation
years ago, a month ago
two nights ago.

The fireman, the little animals, a barber in Ilium,
cattle and sheep and pigs
incinerated and squashed and boiled
and so on
and so on
and so on to infinity.

What do we say to this?
So it goes
And what do the birds say?
Poo-tee-weet.

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