POETRY: How To Prepare For The Second Coming by Abigail Carroll

How To Prepare For The Second Coming by Abigail Carroll

Start by recalling the absolute goodness of rain
and repent for every grumble you have ever made
about the weather (this will take approximately

forever.) Next, you will want to commit a theft:
with deft lock-picking and a shrewd hand, steal
back the hours you fed to the hungry god of work,

then squander them on hydrangeas, Wordsworth,
voluntary sidewalk repair. Teach a child to lace
a shoe (your child or another’s—any four-year old

will do), and while you’re at it, set the alarm
for three, and fumble through the dark to the pond
to guard the salamanders as they cross the road. If,

having accomplished these tasks, you wish
to go on, sit at your desk and carefully design
a few radical acts of grace, by which I mean

murder (of a sort): you must willfully, passionately
kill the living, breathing debt owed you by those
who stole your goods, your rights, or the jewel

that was the beating muscle of your hope. Apart
from this, you cannot know the full extent of love.
(For precedent, refer to the cross.) Thrust

your nails into dirt and plant a few seeds (carrots,
radishes, perhaps); indeed, get scandalously intimate
with the earth. After all, it is where you will live

when the lamb lies down with the lion, and the lion
has become your friend. And when the water
of the new world breaks, all is said and done (heaven

and earth made one as the prophets foretold),
you will lose each doubt to a song—which is
a kind of praise —and reap the good you sowed.

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