Civilizations have been collapsing

since the first hawk circled Mt. Ararat


and fingers grasped for Venus

over fires lit with redwood.


How do you praise the apocalypse?


Teach politicians to chase 

lightning bugs.


Collect buckets of rain.


Plant children

who grow




Hunter, North Dakota


After 95 years,

Ellen chose July for her brief illness,

avoiding her deepest fear:

a winter inside the morgue,

waiting for the ground to thaw

instead of stepping lightly

into the earth

just below the sky.


Vienna, Austria


Instead of a café,

we found wrought-iron gates

wrapped with ivy,

tucked at the end of a street,

where the dead

waved us past

and nobody


it again.

Finland, Minnesota


There are no marble headstones

among the brown chanterelles,

no granite markers or fresh bouquets.

But the Finnish children who died early,

and their parents buried nearby,

keep the best mushrooms

in Cook County.

Jolene Brink is a poet and journalist from northern Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Camas and Studio 1, and is forthcoming from Dislocate, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Rufous City Review. Jolene works for the University of Minnesota College of Design.

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