Ysabel Y. Gonzalez

Apocalyptic Luck

Some of us will be relieved when the world ends,
no more bones to shine.

When we see a comet dashing towards earth,
we’ll cheer, think finally— 

not because there’s an afterlife waiting
for us

but because we’re exhausted scratching at our scarred

day after day, tiny pluckings at the skin 
until we’re raw,

red at the helm of our flesh a hacked-on reminder
that there’s 

luck in an ending invoked, when we tell an apocalypse: 
come, do 

your fiery blaze

ease our yoke with a shower of cosmic 

That’s what people like me call


Some people
leap or slice
to start over

I know too well
this urge
but also know
I’ll just be sent back

constant tinkering
synapses don’t mend
so in short-lasting light
I conjure up 
a litany for Lucid

         praise Your steady
         guide my hands
         guide my feet
         guide my tongue

And this is how 
witchcraft began

stealing back 
a sober mind
through fiery prayer
but not to their god

Newark, NJ-based Ysabel Y. Gonzalez received her BA from Rutgers University, and an MFA in Poetry from Drew University. Ysabel has received invitations to attend VONA, Tin House, Ashbery Home School, and BOAAT Press workshops. She’s a CantoMundo Fellow, and has been published in the Paterson Literary Review, Tinderbox Journal, Anomaly, Vinyl, It was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop, Wide Shore, Waxwing Literary Journal, and others.  You can read more about her work, at ysabelgonzalez.com