After the Apocalypse
Anne Whitehouse
Back then they thought
that if the human race was doomed, 
at least they’d be preserving
an archive of earthly sounds
on a gold-plated record
aboard the Voyager spacecraft,
like a message in a bottle
tossed into outer space
for extraterrestrials to discover
on the far shores of the universe
on a happier planet than ours,
these last traces of our lives:
beatings of a heart,
soft mwah of a mother’s kiss,
sounds of wind, crashing surf
and falling rain,
footsteps and laughter,
the cry of a chimpanzee,
Bach’s harmonies
and Mozart’s melodies
and Chuck Berry singing
“Johnny B. Goode:”
Go go go Johnny go—
unfaded echoes
of our lost existence.




Anne Whitehouse

is the author of five poetry collections—The Surveyor’s Hand, Blessings and Curses, Bear in Mind, One Sunday Morning, and The Refrain—as well as a novel, Fall Love. She is pleased and grateful that this issue marks her fourth appearance in riverbabble. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, graduated from Harvard and Columbia, and lives in New York City.

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