Apocalypse! Αποκάλυψις! by Alicia Beatty

Seattle (United States)

Zinnia Hansen

Apocalypse! Αποκάλυψις!


open window. smells of honey. 
can’t breathe. too beautiful. 
the year dies.

from the enclave. 
spring wind. snatches. loose pages.
airs-out. sweaty armpits.

flowers bloom.
time skips. around a maypole.
ribbons crisscrossed. wound tight.

life. a fluttering thing.
voluminous. paper chrysanthemum.
under the rain.

it has begun. the dust.
daisies have opened. stopped opening.
rhythmless. no rain.


the landscape is
naked in the summer,
thirsty for the rain
that will dull
its burning contours,
for the snow
that will soothe the bare
throbbing spine
of its mountains.
the trees are the parched
green of a migraine.
perched on
the sandy cliffs,
they stare at the sound
like a woman stares
at her own breasts


I want to wear your skin
as a christening gown,
she told me one night,
while we set each other on fire,
while our petals, our leaves,
our thorns, and things
fell to the floor.
I thought the point of a baptism
was to make yourself clean.
no, it’s to make yourself holy.
there's a difference.
we won’t have any skin
after tonight. we’ll never be able
to wash off the red.
last September, I started writing
my own apocalypse,
because my lover asked me
a pitched question:
what’s the point of writing
while the world ripens and dies.
it’s autumn again,
but the hills are still burning.
and even though it rained yesterday,
the maples turned yellow
in a brown haze.
we’ve stopped talking about it.
instead, we wait till it’s dark
and love each other.

Zinnia Hansen is a poet and essayist from the Pacific Northwest. She is a first year student at the University of Washington, studying linguistics. She is the 2021-2022 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate. Her work has been published in various magazines and online publications, including the Blue Marble ReviewYoung Poets Network, and Ice Lolly Review. She was a finalist in the New York Times Personal Narrative Contest and part of the Hugo House Young Poets Cohort. She is in the process of writing a book, of amassing an archive of things she holds holy, which will be published June 2022.