Would you want me back, Mother? After the end, would you want me to come back?
There are no atheists in foxholes but what about fallout bunkers?
Once, when I was sad over some boy you laughed and asked me
if I wanted you to do some Hail Marys for me and I laughed too.
But who will pray for you? Do you remember, Mother,
remember when I was little and you taught me how to slow dance
to Lawrence Welk and I was never any good but we did it anyway?
Who will know? There is nobody left to tell.
In Pripyat there are still abandoned dolls, and dinner plates
and briefcases and photo albums and nobody wants them back now.
But they used to. Would you want me back, Mother?
After the end, would you want me to come back?
2016 seemed like the beginning of the end. When the Orange Overlord was elected I actually thought that the world would become a nuclear wasteland.
That’s what inspired my poem Mutual Destruction. There’s this continual panic that I feel thinking about living in a country where we allowed this to happen. It makes me wonder if, when the end does come, will it even be worth rebuilding after.
I am from Kansas City, Missouri, an MFA candidate at Creighton University. My poems have been published in Medium Weight Forks, Algebra of Owls, and my fiction has been published in more than a dozen magazines.