Rapture Begets Sweater Begets Rapture

Despite its name, the "sweater curse" is treated in knitting literature not as a superstition governed by paranormal forces, but rather as a real-world pitfall of knitting that has real-world explanations and solutions.
-Wikipedia entry for “The Sweater Curse”
The Rapture Index is by no means meant to predict the rapture, however, the index is designed to measure the type of activity that could act as a precursor to the rapture.   

* * *

We spent all summer sucking face,
camped out in eddies of green knotted into
downtown's monument-grey warp-and-weave, 
tourists nearby snap-shooting
their best faces into place.

We didn't have much to do. We kept busy
reaching out to one another like a body
is a problem worth getting to the bottom of.

The days were hot and amphibious: air seemed
as easy to drink as it was to breathe.
Wherever we were going, we arrived
half-sun-stroked, frail cotton clothes
soaked through. It's weird how lips don't sweat.

It was too hot to say the word wool.
I knit for you in secret, at night, while the asphalt
threw back the day's catch of heat. My needles
kept splicing strands, stitches clawing over
one another as though fighting for survival
in a primordial stink, multiplying like cells.

That summer it was all about the End Times.
Everyone was talking about the Rapture Index.
The churches kept tabs, and the tally ran high.
They were crunching numbers, studying signs,
guessing what the world's curtain line would be.

All that weather: tsunamis, hurricanes,
the sky like frosted glass from ash sent up
by arctic volcanoes. (Core-shaken, hurling up
my molten insides, I related to the latter.)

Starlings fell from the skies in the Midwest,
wet and deliberate, landing like they'd been
chucked there by a pitching machine.

There was the economy and all its failures,
slip-ups greasy as the continent of oil
that flooded a whole Gulf's meniscus.

Should we have taken the prophecies to heart?
Probably. But our own rapture was more pressing.
The newspapers and the radio hummed,
but you and I had a lot of making out to do.
Remember, too, that I was addled
from a lack of sleep: my vision often doubled,
and I saw two of you.

The prophets had promised fire, but there was only light
so strong it made a sound, a high thrumming
in the chopstick-thin bones in my hands.

The light was encouraging. It bred excess,
the smallest things spawning fastest.
A mat of bacteria unfurled over lawns

and sidewalks, licked the edges of buildings
the off-white colour of someone's sick tongue.
I saw a mouse the size of a beach ball
wade into the river and swim away.  

Hair became a skein overnight,
strangled the first casualties in their sleep.
Fingers and toes sprung out like divining rods.
Everyone's centre of gravity migrated elsewhere.

The sweater I was knitting spread out
like an old tattoo made awry by weight gain.

I thought that I would have something new to say
about all of it. Or about anything, really,
but the light cleaved spaces between things,
pushed my thoughts apart like venetian blinds
turning outward. I couldn't even remember your name.

Time slowed like a game show wheel ticking down,
each moment lingering a little longer, threatening
to be the last stop.
No one could say when the sun had last set.
One long day spread like a bleeding stain. 

So, this is how the world ends:
By not ending at all.
There is only more and more
and more of what we already have.

I knit like it could conjure a heartbeat.
I didn't count. I couldn't see the end.

Suzannah Showler would  not deny refugee claimants basic health care.

Published On: July 1, 2013
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/130601g.htm

Volume 7, Issue 3
Canada Day, 2013


Forget Magazine

The Falling Man
John Wall Barger

Dear Liza
Raoul Fernandes

After the Porcupine
Aisha Sasha John

Instructions For Dancing
Elena E. Johnson

Sara Peters

Rapture Begets Sweater Begets Rapture
Suzannah Showler

Feb 12, 2001 - Present

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


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ISSN: 1710 193X

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