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If heaven exists and I’m not saying it does
I don’t imagine rolling hills flowery meadows
Perpetual spring or perpetual twilight the wind
Combing through endless wheat fields don’t imagine
Butterflies cicada song the smell of cinnamon
And dried oranges anything so sentimental as clouds
Or harps no if heaven exists I imagine
It will look something like the place I dreamed of
After my mother died a field beside a highway
Overgrown awash in the white noise of traffic
The smog-light of an LA afternoon a heaven
Of candy wrappers dip tins and Styrofoam cups
My mother in the distance dressed for the beach
Beckoning me from the huge shade of her umbrella



Nicholas Pierce’s recent work has appeared in 32 Poems, AGNI, The Hopkins Review, and Subtropics. His first collection, In Transit (Criterion), won the 2021 New Criterion Poetry Prize.




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