It's so quiet now the children have decided to stop being born. We raise our cups in an empty room. In this light, the curtains are transparent as gauze. Through the open window we hear nothing-- no airplane, lawn mower, no siren speeding its white pain through the city's traffic. There is no traffic. What remains is all that remains. The brick school at the five points crosswalk is drenched in morning glory. Its white flowers are trumpets festooning this coastal town. Will the eventual forest rise up and remember our footsteps? Already seedlings erupt through cement, crabgrass heaves through cracked marble, already wolves come down from the hills to forage among us. We are like them now, just another species looking to the stars and howling extinction. They say the body accepts any kind of sorrow, that our ancestors lay down on their stomachs in school hallways, as children they lay down like matches waiting for a nuclear fire. It wasn't supposed to end like this: all ruin and beauty, vines waterfalling down a century's architecture; it wasn't supposed to end so quietly, without fanfare or fuss, a man and woman collecting rain in old coffee tins. Darling, the wars have been forgotten. These days our quarrels are only with ourselves. Tonight you sit on the edge of the bed loosening your shoes. The act is soundless, without future weight. Should we name this failure? Should we wake to the regret at the end of time doing what people have always done and say it was not enough?
in the ruins
we drank in the remains of ruined buildings and we sat in a cave or wrecked houses on farms given back to the bank listening to men who'd been raised in ways that were lost and we strained to make out the use of their news they were crazy or passed out speed notched with a cross they drank from the flask and the mouth they came in and shook off the rain inflamed and dismayed calm and arcane the least one seethed chanting whitman for hours then wept at the dregs of the fire foam formed at the edge of their lips we drank and waited for something to drop you and I looking and sifting for signs written in wax we were young we knew how to die but not how to last a small man who claimed he was blake raged all night and probably he was he had god in his sights white crosses shone in our eyes or acid mandalic in the ruins the men talked: seraphic and broken glowing with gnosis and rubbish we sorted their mad sacred words these dog-headed guides to the life after and the life after that