Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 6 • Summer 2003 • Poetry

Nights in Paradise

Don Adams

The world had died and was to be
made again. Most of the work was
mine, as usual. I said of an incompetent
colleague, "Give him the poets; it doesn't much
matter with them." As I labored on, creating
first science, then religion, out of the corner of
my eye I saw my brother approaching a girl who
was standing alone. He grabbed her by the shoulders and
kissed her on the mouth. "Not like that!" I yelled, waving my
arms as I ran to separate them. "You must
forgive him," I said, with an ingratiating smile, "He doesn't know
what he is doing." Later on there was an orgy
of sorts, distinct and sterile, as in Bosch. At the
end of the evening, we gathered in the music
rehearsal room to choose our deaths. I looked
on as my childhood friend, victim of a tragic
accident, casually chose an early end. "Not
that!" I protested. He turned to
me with an absent, benignant gaze, as if to say, "It
couldn't matter less." Desperately saddened, I chose
a fate almost at random. A bell sounded. And it
was finished.

Don Adams teaches creative writing and modern literature at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is currently in the middle of a two-year Fulbright grant to Vietnam, where he is reading American literature with college lecturers in Ho Chi Minh City, who are teaching him a great deal.

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