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The End of Nature

  by Doug Ramspeck

  When the last fires rise and make
  their way across an ochre expanse

  of field, the stains of birds will offer
  their final bodies to a venous sky.

  This must be what it means
  to summon prayers. Yet for now

  the prayers exist in the living body
  of a horse on a black night, a horse

  you cannot see, or in what crawls into
  the discarded skin of a hognose snake.

  I think some prayers have the patience
  of mountains or stone—so that even after

  the flames transform our everything
  to ash, they will persist—feral and lonely.

    Mantis 13

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