Archaeology by Brandon Rushton

In an effort to truly respect the rhetoric
of hibernation the authorities have placed
all satellite transmission on a permanent
hiatus. Finally, we are inarguably in the dark.
This is the age when all the sad astronauts
clean out their cubicles and feel ashamed
to go home. We’ve abandoned the search
for answers and nobody knows how to feel
about that. The subject of the future is futile
and the media beats it like the dead horse
that it is. Speaking of extinction, a local
news anchor reports the pain in her neck
is much worse than a pinched nerve.
They light candles in the station as she
signs off. In our incapacity to define time
we designate anticipation as the word
to describe the space between an apology
and that apology’s acceptance. According
to the collective opinion of the community
they have decided on a comet. They have
decided everybody will stop what they
are doing and suddenly look up. A dog
will bark and it will begin to rain.
An astronaut will tighten her house robe
and return indoors. The family who has
trouble sleeping will simultaneously begin
to snore. No one is sorry that this is the way
a society goes silent. The headlines tell us
not to fear. Another origin story
will find its orbit. The next population
will assume all the answers are beneath them.

Brandon Rushton’s poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, CutBank, Southern Humanities Review, and others. He holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina where he served as the editor of the literary journal Yemassee, and continues to teach writing. Born and raised in Michigan, he now lives and writes in Charleston, South Carolina, with Mara and Juan.

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