The Apparition Equation



The praying mantis keeps chewing off its loverís head.
Tell me the afterlife is a grain of salt on the rim
of a deep green margarita. Today, a lunula of black ants

pulped out from a pinhole of dirt in the pouring rain.
It is chilling (is it not?) that the universe expands
faster than the speed of light and every star will slowly

flare out, creating a cosmic ice-cube. Did you know
the other sides of black holes donít exist? They donít
go anywhere. Thereís not even holes involved.

Just black orbs with unplumbed gravitational fields,
and this bothers me. I always thought they spat
space guts out the other end and now Iím unsure

what to make of them. Scientists have determined
our black hole, Sagittarius A, in the Milky Way,
was left with a galaxy smelling of rum and tasting

like raspberries. Who wouldnít want to eat that
if they had a mouth that big? When this body
is finally earth, I will float to that sparking lip

of our black hole, observing suns and planets
splattering like a drunk Jackson Pollock at the edge
of his canvas, flicking the paint from his brush.


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Sean Shearer is a Poe-Faulkner fellow at the University of Virginia where he teaches poetry. Recent poems appear in New England Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of BOAAT Press.