The Rapture: A Sermon



We, the elect,
will be lifted

into the purity of our politics,
lifted like smoke

into the upside-down
buckets of bells.

We’ll ring against each other
and that

will become
the noise of the nation

hanging over the fields,
the bones

like bits of nerve
glowing in the black

soil of the boundless prairie.
Not the families

whispering on their blankets
beneath the fireworks,

nor the lovers—
who fail to see

the primary purpose
of language. We’ll rise above

the left-behind,
who’ll live their days

inside our words

from radios, screens—
then somehow

they’ll turn us off
when the dark reaches over

and they lie
mutely in their beds.

We’ll try to lift them
toward our righteousness

but their robes will fasten
to their worldliness,

their children watching
as our god of wrath—

god of history—
comes to sweep them away.



picture of featured poet, Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Post-, which won the UNT Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award for Poetry, and We the Jury, which is forthcoming in 2021. His 2015 co-translation of Moikom Zeqo’s Zodiac was shortlisted for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver and edits Copper Nickel.

“The Rapture: A Sermon” was published in TLR: Uncle