Robin Tung: "A New Earth"


We came out to watch the moon, a chalky,   

corrugated paleness in the atmosphere.

We wore little, half naked in the balmy

air, foetid with the rot of grass and trees.

People climbed the cliffs to watch it shiver

back into the nebulae of smoke from the day’s

fires, the roads home melting back to rivers

of tar, littered with animals ventured away

from their homes in the dead hot light

of day, the hair on their backs stiff and dry

with nothing to salvage their flesh, or white

bones, not even the iridescent flies

breeding in the mud and dying in the night,

their wings glued together at birth.

The sound of febrile animals baying,

of wind hurtling through the dry earth.

In the slow heat of night, coyotes pawing

for water, all of us feverish, waiting

in a starless space. The cosmic light

of the sun never absolutely fading

out of the sky. A new earth without respite,

where we were always slowly burning.



Robin Tung earned her MFA from Johns Hopkins University and is the recipient of the Milton A. Saier Award. Her work has appeared in Basilica Review, The Labletter, NANO Fiction, and Sugar House Review.