Delicious Apocalypse


Delicious Apocalypse
When I imagine it now, I’m no
longer thirteen and revving across the
charred earth on my motorcycle, searching for
other survivors who say, What would we do without
you and your Suzuki DS 100? Now, like you and everyone,
I’m gone. The trees and sunlight, crickets and rivers going on
without us. Stop signs and birds. No more toilets clogged.
I would miss my friends as much
as anything, like the one beside me.
He’s my father’s age, squinting over a white beard.
We are digging through the cab
of his pickup, Red, a little diesel
you have to treat right, especially in winter. When we find
enough pennies, he hands them to the girl at the counter
along with two dollar bills. A fair trade we believe the
same day once a week, this day we give ourselves to
unwrap greasy mushroom burgers and chew
one bite at a time, this hour dividing
our work and ending with each
shining finger licked.

Derek Sheffield’s collection, Not for Luck, won the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize judged by Mark Doty. His other books include Through the Second Skin, finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and A Revised Account of the West, winner of the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award judged by Debra Marquart. Coeditor of two collections, Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy and Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry, he lives with his family in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Leavenworth, Washington, where he birds, hikes, plants, fishes, and forest bathes. As a professor of English at Wenatchee Valley College, he teaches poetry and ecological writing and serves as co-chair of the Sustainability Committee. He is the poetry editor of