After the Rapture we were mostly unchanged
except for the souls cut away from our flesh
like excised organs, which left bloody pockets
to probe with mute sorrow
over and over,
not quite believing,
After the Rapture our tongues were the same
yet food lost its savor, we munched like cattle
on whatever we found, (no gourmands left
at the end of the world);
we drooled tears and remembered
the hot tang of pepper,
the apple’s bright crunch.
After the Rapture our eyes still remained
to behold the twilight and ruin, yet colors
bled; the world became a city
beneath gray umbrellas, soaking
and dull, resentful of sunlight
and its remembrance of warmth.
After the Rapture our limbs were retained
except that we moved absent grace—
puppets of meat which fretted and jerked
and drooped at day’s end.
Our feet were struck dumb;
if we moved at all it was to crawl
as though groping through darkness.
After the Rapture our loins still flamed
in aching flesh; yet we grew soft, made love only
to pass the time. Every release affirmed
our jagged isolation; a tragedy of trysting limbs,
each little death a memento
of that brightness carried away.
After the Rapture our gods were exclaimed
by the madmen who arose like mushrooms
after the rain, flagellants and penitents,
crawlers and kneelers and squealers
who cried out in the night
and rent their skin to suffer
the ecstasy of sensation. They didn’t.
After the Rapture our peoples were changed
and came to prefer it that way. Churches all closed
and were left to the bats. We moved slowly
together, masses of flesh
grown rusty as war, nodded to sleep
beneath placid skies; untroubled except
for our satellites falling to earth.
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