Jason Fraley

Hand crank your radio. The weather forecast
mixes with static and an a.m. sermon.
The monotone voice crackles predictions
of thunderstorms, but when you look outside,
the horizon appears to be encased in crystal brick.


Do not believe in magic even as the blender
slices silverware into smoke.


Open your closet: the clang of bare hangers.
Suitcases retain the shape of fullness.


Watch the neighbors outside: one hangs
her clothes from a leafless sycamore branch.
Another mows his lawn for the third time this week.
Scuff your feet on the welcome mat. Nothing—
electrons have fallen dormant. Like everyone else,
wait for a breeze to ignite the field of dandelions.


If your hands will not fold,
open your desk drawer.
Find a pen, prepare a letter
for your wife.

There is no paper
except for the origami birds
that have claimed the hardwood
floor as their ocean.




Lately, my poetry has focused on the theme of the individual encountering a form of religious experience, either directly through an event or more subtly through the poem's connotations. Obviously, this poem is quite direct on one level—the most popular conception of the rapture is violent to say the least. However, my objective was to invoke the connotations of the biblical rapture while exploring a mundane scene from a personal, secular perspective.