So the Earth was Repopulated

In the days after the Great Flood, the earth wore a cloak of carcasses. Spirits were scattered about like jellyfish beached by the tide. The sun sizzled their delicate sheer forms, and by this they were made to stir and seek the dead and lie upon the hearts of the dead and the dead opened their ribs like swinging gates and the spirits returned to the darkness of their bodies and the hearts of men were bolted back to life. Honey and bread were given into their arms. And on their very legs they walked, and their robes swept the waters from the drowned fields, and they found their homes. And once this was finished, minor creatures crept to life from wrung-out pelts. But by then the glimpse of death had seared their eyes, and it is as such today with frightened twitching bodies the vermin scatter the earth. Rarely do they touch men. But though it be strange wondrous from time to time in your nightclothes as you cross the room the two of you collide. The vermin stumbles and is gone but for a moment as its belly slides across your foot its racing heart shudders your bones and you remember.


Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of  Sightseer and Paper Doll Fetus, as well as the chapbook, Her Human Costume. Hoffman is the recipient of a Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, a Director’s Guest fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, Fence, Blackbird, diode, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere.