How the world ends
Orange skies filled the morning.
The dog woke early, fretted
over her animal cookies and turned
off my alarm.
I slept in a University in the ocean.
The boys wore sunglasses as the sun
grew brighter. But there was no sun
and I knew I was dreaming.
I woke late to work, the sun climbing
through venetian blinds like toy
soldiers over fences. The dog licked
In the center of my kitchen table –
a ring box. My clutter disappeared.
The box light as air.
Beneath the lid, a hundred diamonds
glittering under my incandescent bulb.
Diamonds that levitated and multiplied
until my kitchen shimmered like the ocean’s
ceiling warmed by a noon sun.
I left them growing and multiplying, hoping
not to lose my job, hoping to catch
the next bus downtown.
I didn’t know a few had tangled in my hair,
multiplied into a crown of light. I walked
through the doors of the café already a queen.
I imagine you happy
across the veil of the universe.
In a place similar
but not quite
I am your mother
but not your mother.
She loves you with all her heart.
I grieve your absence with all of mine.
Somewhere, in a world
where your father wanted you
or I married someone else,
I (but not really) carry a different
Somewhere, I may even be
But not here.
How many universes are tied to this grief?
How far across space would I have to travel
to find you? Would you recognize me if I did?
Would you love me like your own?
Only now do I consider
the peace of the universes
where I do not exist.
Lacie Semenovich is a poet and fiction writer living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her work has appeared in B O D Y, Sheila-Na-Gig online, Qwerty, Chiron Review, and The Best Small Fictions 2020. She is the author of a chapbook, Legacies (as Lacie Clark, Finishing Line Press 2012).