Nobody Can Pronounce the Name of This Volcano

By Mike Wright

Featured art by Paweł Czerwiński

I was choosing a bag of almonds at the grocery
when a volcano erupted. These almonds
were an impulse buy, and now they commemorate
catastrophe. The volcano is elsewhere,
so I won’t experience cinders bruising the sky.
On another continent ash settles on buildings
and my snack is dusted in cocoa powder,
the packaging says semi-sweet. I’m realizing
this is the wrong flavor for a natural disaster.
Nobody can pronounce the name of this volcano.
I can’t speak its name and I want to know it,
to know destruction, the reality of molten
rock. Instead I’m standing around the store,
befuddled by almonds, by how to choose.
If enough pressure built under the surface,
I could be relieved of every decision.

Mike Wright is a poet based in Columbus, Ohio, whose work has previously appeared in Gigantic SequinsLake EffectHunger Mountain, and New Ohio Review, among others, and his work was nominated for the anthology Best New Poets in 2017. He spent three years in residency at Milo Arts, where he co-coordinated the With Poetry reading series from his studio. Presently, he is an editor for underground comics with Dutch Meadows Productions, and he is a contributing editor for the forthcoming magazine Super Spreader

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