Jeannine Hall Gailey

End Times Imaginings with Ray Bradbury

I am the girl on Venus shut in a closet
waiting for the one day the rain will stop,
the sun shine on her skin. I will blink up
at the sky, and squint, and spin in the light.

I am the intelligent house that plays cricket chirps
and runs the sprinklers for humans who no longer exist.
I will buzz with music, flip switches, my windowpanes
open and shut like eyelids without question, without ceasing.

I am the man whose body is covered in stories
written in needle’s ink. If you stare too long
you too will become part of the story, will tell
your own fortune, another cautionary tale.

I memorized the Bible, and Shakespeare, waiting
for pages to go up in flame. Waiting for a wife to wake
from ear buds and anti-depressants, but in the meantime,
chasing a girl in a white dress.

I grew up on Mars. It was dusty. I launched spaceships
looking for a savior. I killed for fun, on accident, on a whim.
I produced a virtual reality pride of lions to murder my parents
just so I could take evil out for a spin. 

You set rockets off between our ears.
You predicted our flat-screens, our Prozac,
our desire for dystopias. From the rainy mountains
in a cubicle with the whir of an intelligent building
I stand, reciting poetry, waiting for my tiny window of sun. 

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She’s the author of five books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and Field Guide to the End of the World, coming from Moon City Press in fall 2016. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is