Poetry Fiction 2009

Swan Song of the Last Believer

How to know when to cry out?
At the incipient prickle of doubt
mistaken for a subtle rise
in temperature? Or at the doubt
after that, threatening to affirm
your most miserable surmise?
Or when more insidious doubts start
multiplying—start to dance
and surge chaotically like sperm,
too speedy and paisley to chart?
Or on the first panicky glance
at the vast hall that once was crowded,
the barely hearable gasp and soft
stumble of the one beside you? When
the one beside you is suddenly not
beside you? When memory of that one
grows too distant not to be doubted?

Presented by

J. Allyn Rosser’s most recent collection is Foiled Again (2007). She teaches at Ohio University.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In