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by Lynne Thompson

This has nothing to do with a plague

or with the earth melting around us.

This is no time to dream of winter.

She is brazen. She is a prophet we have

too long ignored. The rain—a welcome

distraction, usually—is full with acidity

and plastic and cohabits with a flaming

in the valleys, over Angeles Crest; claims

coyotes and raccoons. This season brooks

no forgiveness. If you think a compass

will lead you back to your children, think

again. They sit in the audience now, they

caress stones, eat the last shriveled orange

and pray there will be an epilogue, that

their lives will not become minor, remnant.


Lynne Thompson was Los Angeles’ 2021-22 Poet Laureate and a Poet Laureate Fellow of

the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Fretwork, winner of the 2019 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize, and of the forthcoming Blue on a Blue Palette that will be published by BOA Editions in Spring 2024. Her recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, and the anthology In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy. Thompson sits on the Boards of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Cave Canem, and The Poetry Foundation.


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