“The Future” & “Evolution is a Sort of Dementia” by Leanne Ruell


A room with pink star wallpaper, grey posters, and a window looking out to some pink clouds

The Future

If my body were as grey as winter, lumbering over you
like a roll of shade;
a face stubbled against the smooth glass of the decade’s
wet dream,
I’d not look at its entirety, but only the grey scale of being
nearly without boundary.
The body, diminishing to make more of itself— to lose

its personhood— (as if Jesus ever postured his divinity to save
himself). The inclination
to keep a boundary is inherently a weakness he thought
while drifting to sleep.

When I was small I saw Jesus on the ceiling of my church
swinging in a paradisiacal ballroom
of light.
He was all blue and sounded like a theremin, rising
above the atmosphere and out
his mother clapping with delight in the choir.
It was her face
I saw as I repeated the absurd episode in my mind,
eating doughnuts
after service, counting the winged hearts on my tights.

What I remember is that Jesus was himself
a blue sheet
dancing among the vents slowly
and sensually
the way he had before bed—wine-drunk, in-love, bubbling
over with every future possibility.

Evolution is a Sort of Dementia

I wake in the dark to find the dog whimpering
in his dream-induced argument with god;
who, with its tender reprimand, fills the world
with guilt over having failed the human.
Even the apple has become a fatalist
hanging a little lower, mocking our slow change
in evolution— only to have grown
a few inches over millennia—
the apple literally falling into our mouths.
At the window, I’m cleaving to the glow of a pale darkness;
all the words that come to mind disperse their meaning
in my mouth and I feel
I’m a ghoul licking the waste out of
of every star’s ass, just to get a little closer
to a more informed language— with all my efforts
I remain precision- less in the explanation that most words
are parallel to the word nothing sin for example—
the first to fall away into the bucket
of every sparkling lie we’ve defined ourselves by.

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Leanne Ruell's poems can be found in Green Mountains Review and the Ruth Stone House's Iterant. You can help her feel less like an outlier by finding her on Instagram @leanneruell.

Sami Martasian is a Boston-based visual artist and illustrator. They make music as Puppy Problems. You can find more of their work on Instagram @Spookysami or reach them for commission work at samanthamartasian@gmail.com.