The Cup of Trembling

The Cup of Trembling

The sunset is made of gold. It is
made of gold, the sunset, this sunset.
It is made of gold—pure gold spills down the mountainside
and I kneel before the mountainside’s golden
spread

Kneel on the stone and burn this image into my forsaken
brain, sear gold onto my retinas, behind its sackcloth
consciousness (made of gold, it is made
of pure gold—this sunset—made of, made of, made of the quintessent
stuff)

This gold is flaked from god’s massive loneliness, our god of deep, aching things—
abysses and ruins; our god made a cosmos crowded
with lonely and ravaging math, unpeopled and bound to savage laws; this god’s mind
stokes gravity, black holes, cataclysms, does not rest for a moment
on me

This god built a Martian peak in our orrery without a single
climber; gave Titan oceans of gasoline, methane rain, and no machines to mine,
and one orb that seethes, greedy with life, spending itself in the terror of the spheres
and it and I will die without consent, or comment, or comfort, but today the sky lusters,
so I own

a sunset made of gold, of gold, of gold, of perfect gold. It is
made of gold, the sunset, this sunset. Never, never
forget this sunset of gold, the way it pours like yolk over the
mountain scree, made for me to drink—drink until it goes dark, turns, like all things do, into
what is gone

Saramanda Swigart completed an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a supplementary degree in literary translation. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Border Crossing, The Broken Plate, Caveat Lector, Diverse Arts Project, East Jasmine Review, Euphony, Fogged Clarity, Glint Literary Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Grief Diaries, Levee Magazine, The Literati Quarterly, The MacGuffin, The Meadow, OxMag, The Penmen Review, Perceptions Magazine, Plainsongs, Poydras Review, Ragazine, Superstition Review, and Thin Air; her work has received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train and a 2017 Pushcart Prize nomination. Saramanda is working on translating some of the more salacious stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Saramanda teaches at City College of San Francisco.

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