Shevaun Brannigan: When the World Ends

there won’t be newspapers with letters to the editor objecting

to how the city council handled the crisis.

No TVs to turn on. The hand-cranked radios too hot

to handle, but then we won’t have hands. No psychologists

to diagnose Post-Traumatic Death Disorder,

no couches to lie back on as a glistening orb of light.

The only people who don’t die alone

are Siamese Twins, when the world ends.

What lurks deep in the ocean will not know,

they will be so used to the darkness. When the world ends,

I need it to be quick. I keep no excess water

but that which lines my veins, I buy canned food

but eat it that same day, and there’s no time

to picture my elderly mother in her hospital bed

hitting the call button frantically,

wondering where her cats are and what day is it

and where her cats are and what day is it,

why the ground beneath her is sinking. No time.

When the world ends, I’d like to be

cartwheeling. One hand rooted solidly

to splitting ground, another reaching for

the meteors plummeting from a fiery sky,

my legs forming that perfect V of birds

flying so high away from the destruction

that their small throats close and they too, fall.



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