“After the Cataclysm: 3 Sijo” by Brittany Hause

          See the heads of Mt. Rushmore,
          eyebrow-deep in brackish waves?
A boy stands tensely at the brink
of a lichen-powdered curl.
          With a sudden, joyous splash,
          he leaps to join his friends below.

                    Who wouldn’t miss the butterflies,
                    the songbirds, and the ladybugs?
                              It’s obvious in hindsight
                              how they brightened our old lives.
                    More surprising’s my nostalgia
                    for the gnats and the mosquitos.

          My sister asked me, yesterday,
          You still remember stars?
I do; I found their quiet
stillness comforting, back when.
          Too many ghosts haunt our days now
          to search the skies for more.


Brittany Hause lived in Bolivia, the USA, and South Korea before moving to the UK to pursue a degree in linguistics. Their original speculative poetry can be found in Asimov’s, NewMyths.com, and many other places, and their Spanish-to-English verse translations have appeared in Star*Line, Eye to the Telescope, and elsewhere.