The world’s been ending a while now, but the spray paint on the walls hasn’t dried yet and the lights are still on. I am writing this cradling a cup of tea against my bare breast. I’m sitting in the window for the first time not caring what the neighbors think. The cats have gone who knows where, but dogs traded in their common sense for loyalty a thousand years ago and, lately, they’ve been howling at their moon goddess for intervention on our behalf. It’s the thought that counts, I guess.
Do you remember how we used to ponder if they’d tell us, or let us carry on paying bills and giving decent, if fake, customer service oblivious to the hands of the doomsday clock ticking ever onwards? Now that I hear them, all I can think is that I wish you were here, our toes touching, our breaths fogging up the glass, you tracing REPENT in the condensation and I, beneath, MERCY. I hear the sunrise in New Zealand has been bright as the blood of Christ these past mornings. If you and Tim are going to skip work to bask in the glow of them, I wouldn’t blame you for doing it. You should send me pictures over Skype.
England is as grey as it’s ever been. Some things stubbornly refuse to change. In the city centers, polite, complex queues that double back on one another have been forming quietly. To what end? I suppose none of us really know but surely those who’ve been waiting longest ought to be judged first and ditherers should be sent to the back to wait with the chaff. We haven’t had any snow yet, just a light spotting of animal corpses, which is only a good thing considering my brother is picking me up on Wednesday and he’d like to drive over the Snake, though they’ve said the four horsemen will be coming through the Pennines by that route, so it will probably be closed anyway. My father might go to Glossop to watch them come past. He likes that sort of thing.
I will send them all your love; we’ll be watching the stars go out one by one this weekend, standing together under the shrouded sky in terror, and thinking of you. If it all goes off before then, save me a seat at the bar and I’ll be there to get the second round in.
I may not ever write again.
P.S. Forward me your new address when you get it.
Amy Kinsman is a poet and playwright from Manchester, England. As well as being the founding editor of Riggwelter Press, they are also associate editor with Three Drops From A Cauldron and the host of a regular open mic. Their work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Clear Poetry, Pidgeonholes, Prole, Rust + Moth, and Valley Press.
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