First of five poems from Michael Mirolla for Poetry Month 2021

Beginning Monday, April 19 we’re bringing you poetry from Michael Mirolla’s newest collection At the End of the World, with a special interview scheduled for Friday April 23rd at 7 p.m. We hope you enjoy it.






August 30, 2010: 2:30 pm

For Cleo at last




This cavern blazes forth its sickly sun,

daring me to seek blindness. An eyelid

intervenes. The children herd acorns,

circle Pan-like the mother oak. A shadow

limps along in three-legged defiance, only

to evaporate with the blow dryer wind.


Somewhere, a syringe slips beneath soft fur

and hooks itself to the nearest vein.


Does the image reverse for an instant

before that last blink? White shells … crystalline

shells … black shells … caught in the mirage between

river and sea … swamp and sky. The tears dry

on the banks of a salty afternoon,

an ache rising with the gaunt mosquitoes.


The liquid flows towards a still beating heart,

marks the tick-tock as it runs out of time.


In the gunslinger afternoon, children

seek shade beneath a monkey-bar world.

They slide their fingers into the sand’s groin,

feel the quick ebb of a current that no

serendipity can touch. White shells …

black shells … empty shells … rocking ever so …



Calm waters wash over a still body,

one more husk amid the foamy debris.




… a river into the sea … a room with a river into the sea …

sweeping the empty shells … sweeping the white empty shells

… white crystalline empty shells … the waters of the river flow-

ing into the waters of the sea … bog to salt … the pine tree that

leans into the wind stripped bare … stripped raw on the salt

side … squish of the sand … waving the green fronds … sparse

hairs on the head of a giant … the bald one … one galaxy

flowing into the other … the liquid the liquid the liquid stone

… the stone liquid … red wine drinking red wine … syringe-

straight … let us drink … let us toast …




Say something. Anything. Please.

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