WATCHING THE APOCALYPSE IN SLOW MOTION BY ISMAIL IBRAHIM 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 68
I imagined a future where I would be a father. In the intoxicating moments between being awake and asleep, I slipped into a fantasy rife with pastoral images.
In the fantasy I’m sitting on a back porch watching my daughters play. Rosemary and Orchid run around the garden chasing each other, shrieking and laughing, muddying their clothes, playing games with rules inscrutable to parents. They radiate the joy of children, that silly, light kind of happiness, so immense that it makes the scene golden. The fantasy father version of me lies down to sleep and the me dreaming him goes out like a light.
Now, my pre-sleep imagination takes me somewhere else. I’m in a car. It’s hot. There’s a fire sweeping towards me but there’s gridlock and I can’t go anywhere. The AC sucks smoke into the car. I’m choked to death by the ash or the car catches fire and I’m incinerated.
NJ LINE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR BY COOPER SY BLUMENTHAL 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 68
My poem is personal and political, inspired by a reckoning with unadorned truth.
Like other people I fight to stay optimistic about democracy. I try to have faith that the freedoms guaranteed to citizens in the US Constitution will survive the impact of so many solid hits from a powerful corporate elite who have marshaled an army of followers without the benefits of wealth or understanding of what’s at stake.
UNA TRAGEDIA DOBLE BY JARED BERBERABE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 68