Poetry: Emp-

Forward: Imagine the world post-apocalypse. This poem is not imagined violence or gore but how nature, and human nature, would slowly take itself back.



Yu’ll see packs of animals you didn’t know ran in packs.

Squirrels bound across the ground in little brown waves.

Realize, now, how people took for granted

little creatures rubbing their fur against pant legs.

Oh! Yu’ll wish they’d remember their window-box days,

help you kill the rats in the walls.

The rats in the walls and the mice in the doors.

Mice in the stores chewing from box to box, like a plague

spilling cereal on all that white tile ‘round your boots.

An’ deer’ll be livin’ downtown.

Tha’s vermin life in the city.  Thrivin’ it seems.


Seems, too, the streets will endure three winters a year,

form concrete mountain ranges yer tires’ll weave around.

When you can find tires under cars, those cars with gas an’ keys

an’ warm wires.  Cause ther’r hundreds of cars with no gas!


Yu’ll think to yourself, how fitting,

a smug smile on a witnessless face,

how much it seems nobody ever wen’ anywhere.


The river ‘s still goin’ somewhere, a little more freely now,

like you, livin’ a little more freely now.

It used to be clear, then orange, then clear, then this—whatever

shade of yellow that is.

Yu’ll be tempted to drink runoff.

Logically, wouldn’t it’d be clean? No. But motto, bottle or nuthin’.

whisper, “Bottle or nuthin.”


Yu’ll haf to convince yourself y’aren’t crazy every time you open

your door filled with mouses.  Daily.  Due daily.

Otherwise that skin between your lips will turn fleshy

an’ yu’ll have to drink b’ pourin’ bottles a water in your ears.

So do daily.




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