Terrible Goddess

by Yoko Danno

Among piles of dust and ashes lie
yesterday’s fireflies—motherfucker,
mother earth, who swallows all
sentient beings—have you ever
thrown up corpses from indigestion?

“I will defy death by setting up
1,500 maternity homes in a single day
in the land of the living,” god retorts
to his wife, the eater of bizarre food,
the multi-faced goddess with centi-legs

Her white hair floating in the air
like dandelion fluff—rootless,
will-less, antenna-less— she goes
sailing with every shift of wind.―
Tomorrow maybe a turn for a new life

“Animals don’t escape to somewhere,
but from something,*” god says. In time
a moonlit pear tree may grow― but for now
he is singing sweet love songs for humans
under the shadow of nuclear umbrellas

*Quoted from “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel