The War of the Worlds

by Jana Prikryl

As though we were cutting together,
incising a long and wide planet
with reservoirs that might in time fill
with something like water. We are thinking
through the problem of three dimensions
using our capacity for two.
Best part is it seems to take forever.
What a hazard for the young
accreting cell by cell on the surface
of the crater. Those jellylike, those wet
animals down there, emitting their song,
the hum of central air. The heather was on fire
eastward, and a thin blue smoke
rose against the dawn.
One kind of horror
looks a lot like desire, when the thing
you’ve made gathers life, and changes.
Something was about to happen all the time
with us. Abundance made me careless.
Hard to silhouette you from the objects
stacked behind and shaking slightly,
not with fear or effort,
but as objects appear to shake
when the camera or chamber or inner
space that catches their appearance
is shaking slightly.

Jana Prikryl is the author of The After Party and No Matter, which was published this summer. Born in the Czech Republic and raised in Canada, she is a Senior Editor and Poetry Editor at The New York Review of Books.

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