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Poem: Tell Me How The World Ends

from our poet of the month, Amanda Torroni

Contemplating the vastness of the night sky


The poems and prose in Amanda Torroni's new book, Stargazing at Noon, unfold in moon phases, beginning with a fullness, then purging. This poem, Tell me How the World Ends, is from the crescent phase.

"I'm an emotional writer. I don't write because I feel compelled to create; I write because it's how I process my experience of the world. I share that work because I don't want anyone else to feel as alone as I did in those moments, whether in joy or in pain."  
-- Amanda Torroni


as if we are
in the backyard lounging
on Adirondack chairs
     looking up 
tell me the center of our galaxy
smells like raspberries
and tastes like rum
that somewhere beyond the dust
cloud of Sagittarius B2 a harmonica wails
                                   a guitar strums
hold your doomsday baton
conduct the insects
a cacophony of crickets
and winged instruments
cue the light show above
a brilliant display of dynamite
all b o o m and P O P
barbeque a thousand suns
the way astronauts describe outer space
as metallic, sweet-smelling
as gunpowder and burned steak
      make a metaphor
how like summer
we whimper      out of existence
sizzle.   singe.   evaporate.

Listen to Amanda Torroni reciting Tell Me How the World Ends:

From Stargazing at Noon, copyright © 2019 by Amanda Torroni. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of reprints in the context of reviews.

Amanda Torroni

Amanda Torroni is a graduate of the honors college at the College of Charleston, where she studied philosophy. Her creative writing career started while studying abroad in Rome, and since then she’s self-published six books, cultivated a strong following online, and read her work at venues across the country. She lives in Summerville, SC, the sweet tea captial of the world, with her human cub and almost-husband. Her most recent book, Stargazing at Noon, was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. You can find more of her work at and on Instagram (@amandatorroni).

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