Mornings After the End of the World
I am woken in the middle of the dawn's light
By the sound of the butcher's knives going "swack"
In the apartment below
And the sounds of something tapping on the glass at my window.
It creaks at me, and whines and howls
But cannot break through uninvited.
Some rules still apply, even after the end of the world.
The tree rips up its roots and stalks away, unsatisfied.
There's a vampire on the phone
"Have you thought about life insurance?"
I tell her I'm not interested, one life's as good as another.
"Have you thought about eternal life, then?"
"Don't those two things cancel one another out?"
But does it really count if Earth corrodes like the weathermen say it will,
And the vampires are left in the trackless void of space
Wouldn't they explode from lack of air pressure, just like the rest of us?
There's nothing in my place but saltine crackers
Of course, the grocery stores will give you a line of credit for a skin sample
But then there'll be clones of you walking about
And it's always awkward meeting them in Starbucks.
You never can figure out what to say to a clone.
There are shrieking squeals coming from the butcher shop below me
And either he's killing rabbits or I'll need to find a new apartment.
The streets are colder than they ever were- the snow is pink
And if you build a snowman your hands corrode
Good gloves are an expensive commodity, nowadays.
And people keep their cats out of the streets
The rats are huge.
From the lampposts, cobras hang
As if they were alone in the Indian sun.
They spread their wings
And sweep across in shadows
Of evolutionary poison
I still don't know how they survive the winters.
I still don't know how we survive the winters.
You can smell the moon before it rises, acid green, enormous.
And sometimes the street gets up and walks away
On centipede legs, taking cars and people with it.
You have to watch out for the new predators. They're everywhere.
Under the guise of potholes, portals gape
Never forget to buy a map of the area from a warlock, a computer programmer, someone who knows.
It's not easy, but we'll survive.
The giant squids have learned to walk on land
They twine around the skyscrapers and sing,
Beaks open wide.
My grandfather used to tell me about birds.
I don't see why we needed them, but he used to say
The world is a sadder place with them gone.
I'll fall asleep tonight, sure as
Cream will curdle under a witch's bed
And dream of squelching switching songbirds and tentacled angels
And maybe I'll just never wake again.