Two poems by Erica Abbott



What If We Lost the Night Sky?


Ran our hands through the empty-static evening

and waited for a frequency where the air was clear.

Stood by while they cut down every vein-vaulted


tree until the world’s arterial road bled out. Lost

our footing as the skies became big as Montana,

except there was no lack of structures scraping


the clouds. Spare me the slogans and platitudes

as once sparse planes twist into playgrounds

for those who board the golden sun in their back


pocket. Watch as they pollute the once-brilliant

backbone of the universe with their artificial light.

What happens when there is no longer obsidian


smoothness to absorb all the white-hot bad? No

twinkling stars to reflect what good remains? Believe

me when I say I do not fear folding sheets of coal-


colored construction paper across the cosmos

and stabbing pinholes into pinwheels

until this factory-powered fire shines through.


Just let them try to take this burning

intensity from us. For we will imbue our fingertips

with this power and hide every last knife


and axe from their billboard-sized eye, bulldoze-