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 poetry collections include A Revised Account of the West, winner of the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award, and Through the Second Skin, finalist for the Washington State Book Award. His poems have also appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including The Ecopoetry Anthology, Environmental and Nature Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, and The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins. Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Li-Young Lee, he has received fellowships from Artist Trust and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. He lives with his family on the east slopes of the Cascades in Washington State where he teaches poetry and ecological writing at Wenatchee Valley College. He is the poetry editor of