The Apocalypse Museum

by Judith Huang

We unearthed the Earth and found a dead museum,

stonestruck, the dead, as though catastrophe

had wiped them out, had claimed the hollow heads,

the bleeding eyes, now dried, paleoanthropic.

Some mated, hands to hearts and eye to eye,

eyes gazing up into the gravel sky.

Small units sat and stacked themselves in flats

around a table lost, without their necks.

Neck to neck the screaming shuttles came

the flaming wonder fossiled on their face.

In granite corridors we found the poor

their lashes bit with frost. Soldiers swaddled

in warm uniforms. They paved the floor.


They had, it seems, first invented metal

They wear it round their heads and round their arms

in shapes, and some embed it in their hearts.


In the museum we found the empty art.

The pillars held the posts of massacre.

Dust preserved the ancient manuscripts

and marble, a mausoleum for the heart.