The Magnificent Jeremiah Expounds on the Impending Doom of Miami

Tear your Gucci clothes, sprinkle dust on your Botox foreheads,
& weep before the new diluvium comes to town—
Your precious Fisher Island, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne,
Brickell, Coral Gables, etc., under miles of seawater,
High waves to smash bedrock easy as a malanga tuber.
This time no Noah & his ark to salvage the stragglers.
No milk and honey for you either, just salt upon salt,
Storm upon storm, & your pleas to God will be bubbles
Of gas in an ear gone deafer than some woodworm or crab,
& in one thousand years or the end of time if it comes before,
His angels of corrosion will have redeemed your wanton waste,
Your sins of effluent affluence, & so returned every crevice
To rust, dust, gravel, sand, but in the meantime you will adapt
As the termite or the ant to any cataclysm & build hives
From God’s debris of pickled wood, clammy gypsum,
Mashed limestone, & you will catch fish with filed teeth,
Fingernails overgrown to claws & you will hold your breath
Longer than a dolphin or a seal, your spit turning to brine,
Your sweat ammoniac, & your females will forgo birthing
To spawn in the caverns of rusting steel, stalactites of glass
Where you will learn to speak as whales beneath the fathoms
Of dark water & swim in pods of piety across the swells
As the new cetaceans of the Lord & when your skin glistens
With the slime of creation, your arms will flap to flippers,
Legs fuse to flukes, & you will grow pinkish blowholes
That geyser the brine cherubs who sing to the end of days,
& God will look upon you with his wide octopus eyes
Happy that His seas have restored Eden’s brood to purity.

Orlando Ricardo Menes

Orlando Ricardo Menes

Orlando Ricardo Menes is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently Memoria (LSU Press, 2019) and the forthcoming The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds (University of New Mexico Press, 2022). He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame where he is Professor of English and Poetry Editor of the Notre Dame Review.
Orlando Ricardo Menes

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Author: Orlando Ricardo Menes

Orlando Ricardo Menes is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently Memoria (LSU Press, 2019) and the forthcoming The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds (University of New Mexico Press, 2022). He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame where he is Professor of English and Poetry Editor of the Notre Dame Review.