Which Poem Comes Last?

The dark one with the orange pincers behind.
The o-shaped, all resolution. The two-legged,
the forewarned, the explicit, the red-by-accident.

Always a line short. ABABA.
Always failing the sunset
in compelling insouciance.

What must finally be said?
Ah, beauty–or, I get it?

A catastrophe of silence
is what a bird fills.

Inured, casual about
the immunity of time to space,
we repeat: the last shall be first.

Terese Svoboda is an author and poet living in New York City. Her writing has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Bomb, Lit, Columbia, Yale Review and The Paris Review. She is the recipient of both the O. Henry and Pushcart Prize. Her fifth collection of poetry, Weapons Grade, will be published this fall by the University of Arkansas.