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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 20, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I find myself constantly thinking about the survival of my little family and the different ways this world could end. Maybe that’s not normal, but that’s what I’m forced to think about when I’m stuck on the freeway for hours, trying to get home to my wife and kids. Bad traffic tends to inspire me to write about the apocalypse.”
—Burlee Vang

To Live in the Zombie Apocalypse

The moon will shine for God
knows how long.
As if it still matters. As if someone

is trying to recall a dream.
Believe the brain is a cage of light
& rage. When it shuts off,

something else switches on.
There’s no better reason than now
to lock the doors, the windows.

Turn off the sprinklers
& porch light. Save the books
for fire. In darkness,

we learn to read
what moves along the horizon,
across the periphery of a gun scope—

the flicker of shadows,
the rustling of trash in the body
of cities long emptied.

Not a soul lives
in this house &
this house & this

house. Go on, stiffen
the heart, quicken
the blood. To live

in a world of flesh
& teeth, you must
learn to kill

what you love,
& love what can die.
 

Copyright © 2016 by Burlee Vang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Burlee Vang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Burlee Vang

Burlee Vang

Burlee Vang is the author of The Dead I Know: Incantation for Rebirth (Swan Scythe Press, 2010).