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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

End of the World

By Julian O. Long

End of the World

. . . never a city twice.
     Carolyn Forché

Dear heart, I hate to say,
but tomorrow isn't coming.

No need to make lunch or check
the clean underwear drawer,
it's calculated the city's
supply of continuing will
entirely exhaust itself
without warning.

Past the library, stone lions'
great gelid eyes fill up with
tears, if stone could weep.
What's wrong will never now be right,
but never mind --

along our walk no solitary
flute speaks in the silent air
nor pigeons rise en masse
from rooftop roost,

hospitals not break open, not reveal
their surgeries unperformed, hearts unrepaired
nor valves unflapped, frozen in landscape crows
not murdered splash upon splash of red on black,
not all that waits in their hollow cries not yet remain
as northern landscape thaws, releasing methane:

thieves give alms --

after school the noted hour strikes empty,
no sound prowls down from unused classrooms as
time closing stops the bell.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-10-18
Image(s) are public domain.
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