Where the sun wakes up, a bluish-white heavenly body by Lori Cayer

and the messenger said the sky was split in two
by a river of fire, burning wind exploded between houses

and tore up the ground, a second sun in the same
blue morning sky, impossibly bright

some kind of artillery from God’s cannons
like being shoved, the hut came down around

way up here on the map, miles above Siberia’s
great iron rail necklace, near the Stony Tunguska river

God threw a stone, a chunk of his heavenly body
as large as a crushed city

all earth’s birds wing-battering the air, like trains
falling from the sky, ground leaping when they hit

trees falling down, all the trees were falling, branches
on fire, they stood black and tall, made naked

by God’s burning eye
it was the end of the world, so I ran

or it was the world starting over, God shooting
across the bow, a warning to the impious

I left home seeking shrines and ended here
telling you this true thing

the skinned trees laid down in a thousand-mile circle
burnt reindeer scattered like kindling

and in the centre              nothing
for He blew up his invisible body there


Copyright © Lori Cayer. Originally published in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018) and also appears in Mrs Romanov (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2019).


Lori Cayer is the author of four poetry collections, Mrs Romanov (The Porcupine’s Quill), Dopamine Blunder (Tightrope Books, 2016), Attenuations of Force (Frontenac House, 2010) and Stealing Mercury (The Muses’ Company, 2004). Her poetry is endlessly informed by her editorial work in scientific research publishing. She lives in Winnipeg.

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