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Mom Used to Make Pancakes at the End of the Week

By: Lilla Carroll


When I wake up to see the astronomers have announced:

Last Day On Earth

I will bother to read the reason. I will read

until I’ve learned the physics of our death and can picture

in vivid cinema an explosion that will come with no mind

to mourn its absence of an audience. It is a relief to know

I am the final destination of my knowledge: I’ll give it time

to locate my heart

and become unextractable.

(content to have known a little more) I will walk outside, no matter

the weather, no shoes: let the the grass tickle its way between

my toes, let the dirt pack my nails and flood my cuticles:

Some gesture of a burial before there is no ground to rest

under, no direction to fall. No units to record, space

matter will undress into unmeasured nakedness,

uncounted, unmonitored, un un un until

six feet is an undone phrase.

I will ask my dad if he’s found his purpose

I will tell my mom she has been beautiful

I will call anyone whose face has tasted mine

to thank them for being animal with me.

By the stove where pancakes vent their sweet batter

scent, I’ll craft myself a paper crown. Honey yellow

marker to print P O E T on the front: Nothing left

but feast and coronation

head and hands will meet where I stand

pushing air into poet poet poet: receiving

the roundness of the word as it wraps

around my head, as I accept its reach.

Once I am titled and full, I will rest

back against the earth, crown

on my chest, giving space to ticks

who drop hungry anchors in my scalp:

still pushing poet poet poet

(content with my last words) I will end watching the sky.

God please show the astronomers something inevitable,

I swear finality is the mother of life.

About the Author

Lilla Carroll is a Poet from Birmingham AL and is currently studying English at Mount Holyoke College. Much of Lilla’s work centers around her time growing up queer in the Deep South, as well as her connections to the natural spaces she inhabits. In May of 2023, her poems “When you tell them you’re from Alabama” and “I put my head down for a nap in 2006, and when I woke up I was annotating Paradise Lost” were both published in the fourth issue of the Mount Holyoke Review.

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