Rachel Custer


On Youtube, I search for the end of the world
and find mass die-offs of fish, beaches still

writhing in places, desperation
and silver scales flashing like mirrors

in the sun. See me in their gasping.
Headline: we are all of us swimming

toward our last beach. A tsunami is coming
for the West Coast very soon. A tsunami

is coming for the East Coast very soon.
Yellowstone bubbles for the center

like a salivating mouth. Everything unimaginable
is happening worldwide and soon. Best truth

we can hope for is a shadow civil war.
The President could be a good man.

Could a good man have stolen
an airplane and flown it into the ground,

taking only his own life? This is true news,
I quickly stop the feed. Headline:

you can’t believe your eyes. I can’t believe oligarchs
crave the blood of a child, what powerful men

are saying with their hands. Fish
still throw themselves toward that beach.

I can’t believe my eyes because this timeline
is not where I began, there’s a wolf

where the Lion should be laying down
with the Lamb. Science is conjuring

a Portal to Hell. You can’t believe your eyes:
fallen angels are waking, are tearing

their evil ways up from a hollow
Earth. In Africa the ground rips open

for miles. Something prophetic is coming
true. Something Biblical is coming

true. Something unimaginable is coming
true you won’t believe your eyes.


About the writer:
Rachel Custer is the Poetry Editor and a reviewer and editorialist at O:JA&L. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in RattleOSU: The JournalThe American Journal of PoetryB O D Y[PANK], and The Antigonish Review. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rachel Custer is the poetry editor at O:JA&L.

Image: Dream Series: Painting 1 by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 11.8 x 23.6 inches. 2008. By permission.

About the artist:
Alejandro Rosemberg is an Argentine fine artist trained by Claudio Bogino in the classical style of the Italian Great Masters. He studied color under Graydon Parrish at the Grand Central Academy of New York. His works are presently being exhibited in the United States and Canada, respectively represented by Principle Gallery in Virginia and White Rock Gallery in Vancouver. Passionate about teaching the techniques he uses, he invests much time and dedication to his drawing and painting classes and workshops held in Brazil, the USA, and Argentina. Rosemberg is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for February 2019.