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Death Valley, California

By Jeneva Stone

close to the Nevada border salt
flats dry beds octagonal or hexed

one constant the wind another
dryness the two wicked all away

as though beauty’s opposite were
nonconformity absence things which

are not what we expected our first
anniversary to be a tour extreme

from desert floor sand-sculpted
to a freezing overlook thousands

of feet high the dusty altitude
blurring distant Proving Grounds

particles like stars seeded thickly
in the deep desert night where I

was afraid unable to connect any
known constellation from so many

stars blinking bright or faint near
or far a cacophony expanding

away from human sight toward
a point of origin I am life maker

of worlds
as glint scattered by
a neutron star whose compact

darkness births nothing more yet
draws close all a quintessence even

from nothingness a not-yet mother
calling softly to an as-yet child

NOTE:  In the spirit of gene replication, this poem contains samplings from John Donne’s poem, “A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies Day, being the shortest day” and Robert Oppenheimer’s response to the first atomic bomb test (he quoted the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.”)

Added: Friday, November 17, 2017  /  From "Monster," (Phoenicia Publishing, 2016). Used with permission.
Jeneva Stone

Jeneva Stone is the author of MONSTER (Phoenicia Publishing, 2016), an exploration in poetry and lyric prose of the effects DNA variation has had upon her family, especially her son Robert. Our genetic fabric is monstrous-- purposefully shape-shifting and awesome in its effects as it fulfills its evolutionary purpose, to make each of us different. Stone’s work has appeared in many literary journals, including Poet Lore, Waxwing, jmww, and New England Review Digital. Her work in nonfiction has been honored with fellowships from the MacDowell and Millay Colonies. The story of Robert's rare disease is ongoing and you may follow it on Busily Seeking, Redux, both the blog and Facebook page. She and Robert live in Maryland.

Other poems by this author