excerpts from Gospel of the Lots of Lucy

Sarah Vap

Author’s Note: These pieces are from the Gospel of the Lots of Lucy, an unpublished book of prophecies given to us by humanity’s ancestor, the fossil named Lucy. The reader’s role is to arrive at the book with a question, then, through bibliomancy, to “draw lots” (randomly select a page) to have their question answered. Lucy, whose voice the book is in, reads the sunlight that moves across a specific rock as her method of divination.


Imagine a circle woven from wool. It is electronic,

and lines of neon light zoom out of it, radiant rigid lines, then whipped

around like you’d whip out a blanket to fold it. You need this kind of order,

and then to sway. You need
everything, and then to fold it over. It’s over, Questioner.

You will have to grieve the incommensurable, then go,
like every light, out.





I predict that losing you, specifically,
will be too much to bear. You are a species that knows it will go extinct,

and that is too much to bear. Consciousness, I imagine,
reduces this tapestry of connection to an illicit sequence.

Animal, I’m sorry you have to know beforehand. Your cups

are overflowing with apes.





It’s too large, the loss of animal earth, to grieve—
animal learning, animal memory,

all the threads of all poems will be lowered

into the center of your star to cook, to transform

into some gold that you’ll never know.






globular at the roots—my testicles and ovaries filled with a bundle of striving,

cold angels. Have “complexity” and “partitioning”
solved the problems you need them to solve.

Is your life better now, I am keenly aware

of the essential instability of even
the sturdiest-seeming systems.


Sarah Vap headshotSarah Vap is the author of seven books of poetry, poetics, and creative nonfiction, including her most recent book, Winter: Effulgences and Devotions (Noemi Press, 2019). Her collection Viability (Penguin, 2016), was selected for the National Poetry Series. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, and was recently the Distinguished Hugo Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. She taught in the MFA program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation at Drew University.