Christopher Ankney


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         —April 30, 2020, Kilauea erupts

The earth revolts. Naturally, we shudder
at the gurney, the frothy volcano

and the ice cream truck that stores
black bags sheeting the city

like cooled lava. We don’t have
the time to make it all green again,

to save the unceremoniously dead
by no god or man or ideas of chosen.

My children are no more important
to you than yours are to me,

and that’s how it starts – the weighted
blanket that keeps thunderstorms

from terrorizing our nerves – but
the mind is lightning scarred.

Your child’s skin is smooth as obsidian
so you press against their chest

and count until you remember something
like differences in weather and climate.

Christopher Ankney

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Christopher Ankney's first book, Hearsay, won the 2014 Jean Feldman Prize at WWPH. Post-publication, it placed as a finalist for the Ohioana Award for Poetry. His poems have been published in places such as Boston Review, Electric Literature's The Commuter, Gulf Coast, Jet Fuel Review, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, Verse Daily. He is a tenured professor at the two-year College of Southern Maryland, and he lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and two sons. His author website is


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