preparing for the apocalypse. Everything is shimmering: the leaves chittering like crickets, leaping over themselves and leaving shards of color behind. Everything is brisk: the wind ruffles every passerby’s scalp like an affectionate uncle. The world is gorgeous and brittle. Everything that was is casting shadows over everything that will become (or fail to be). A young boy tosses a ball against a building in an alleyway puddled with rain. Maybe it is a wish, that ball, and he expects it to continually return to him like a promise. Or maybe it is because he is bored and does not know the harm that is to come. A horde of sawgrass on the edge of town is restless in their wild march toward nowhere. A herd of cattle lay suspiciously quiet and content among the browning grass of an evanescent autumn. They know, but do not seem to care that the world, according to forecasts, is closing its skies like the pages in a book. Everyone is recklessly busy.
I am watching twilight submerge into depths of horizon. I have so many questions. If the world does end, will we receive some sort of receipt for our unspent time we could have afforded? If the world, should it end, turned on its axis like a heel and spun opposite, would time follow? If the world does end, where will we go among such cold-lit and disinterested stars? If the world does end, was it because we could not save it or refused to? My eyes are scalpels shimmering dangerous into the dimming light, sharp as meteor glass. The night throws itself at us, obsidian.
The world goes on predicting. Prophets continue preaching, being ignored, or re-correcting themselves. The world goes on in its pirouette around a star. Politicians continue playing Janus with their pock-marked faces. The world goes on and on and on. The world keeps. The world is.
Samuel J Fox is a bisexual poet and essayist living in North Carolina. He is a poetry editor at (b)OINK; he is poetry editor at Orson’s Review. He appears in Muse/A Journal, Maudlin House, Grimoire Magazine, and The Occulum. He has been nominated twice for Best of the Net and once for a Pushcart. Find him on Twitter.