Instructions for the Endgame

By WYATT TOWNLEY

 

To see the unseeable, measure
its shadow. It takes eight telescopes
            on six mountains and
       four continents
ten days.

In the middle of Virgo is a black hole
more massive than six billion suns.
Hardly a virgin, her mattress sags

in the dark, warping everything.
Down here, our hips dig their trenches.
From bed to earth, a one-way slide

out of time—sex and death old friends.
From earth to sky, just one more step
on the staircase. The steps are steep.

None who enter leave.

 

Wyatt Townley is Poet Laureate of Kansas Emerita. Her books include four collections of poetry: Rewriting the Body, The Breathing Field, Perfectly Normal, and The Afterlives of Trees. Wyatt’s work has been read on NPR, featured in American Life in Poetry, and published in journals ranging from New Letters to Newsweek, North American Review to The Paris Review, Yoga Journal to Scientific American. Formerly a dancer, Wyatt has developed and trademarked her own yoga system, Yoganetics, now practiced on six continents.

[Purchase Issue 21 here.]

Instructions for the Endgame

Related Posts

Image of objects under shards of broken glass.

Dey

STEPHANIE DINSAE
A young child, I was privy to hearing this word / in my household, around my uncle and his friends / reminiscent of his schoolboy youth. / A part of a pidgin I could never participate in / for fear that the broken English might / have too much of an essence...

Picture of a white door

Disorder

FARAH ALI
Early one morning, when the sky was still dark, Annie locked herself in her room. She turned the key three times, then went to her bed and opened a book. At half past seven, her mother knocked on her door and told her to get up. Annie didn’t appear.

A plane flies over a city at night

Who Writes the Arabian Gulf?

NOOR NAGA
I have dreamt of this Arabian Gulf Portfolio ever since I was a teenager, writing about snow and squirrels and picket fences—despite living in Dubai where I had more experience with temperatures of 40+ degrees, karak chai, compounds… Because English was my first language...