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Holiness and a Lack Thereof and other poems

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

by Gabby Chumley

I want you to hear this pass from my lips

Before it passes from someone else’s:

There is a hymn dying softly

on the voice of a choir

a gentle beginning and a jarring, bitter end

There is snow;

There is silence and solitude

This deep-rooted, pervading isolation

You’ve carried with you since childhood

They didn’t teach you this with your catechisms

This juxtaposition of the half-dead and the living

I’ve found there is a malleability,

A yielding in absence

A tenderness only present in a wake

Rigor mortis in reverse

This is How the World Ends

We are mostly honest in childhood innocence

Fraudulent in age

I am beginning to believe that loving lies mostly in knowing

Familiarity breeds comfortably, which is not the same as contempt

Which is softer, more malleable

What I mean to say is that introductions and farewells both smart

It’s nice to meet you, it’s nice to have known you

I’d like to think we can retrace our steps

Tell me how the world ends,

Spins till it stops

I am not thinking of the Hollywood explosions

I am beginning to believe we’ll go quietly

A familiar silence that stretches on and on

The grey of post-storm-skies, the flat vastness of the sea

a handshake, a see-you-soon

About the Author
Gabby Chumley is a sophomore History major at Lincoln Memorial University. She resides in Harrogate, Tennessee.
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