Daytimes of This World

The sun went out

Like I knew it would

(They say it went down, but I know better

It is out – forever and for good.)

This lingering twilight is our last.

It wasn’t much to mourn, that twilight

Sky-gray flatness like galvanized steel

Not even a touch of trembling mist –

Unromantically dull.

But it was all we had;

And now it’s gone.

(We have begun to forget what color is

Already – and the worst hasn’t come.)

We dread these dark hours ahead.

Maybe we wish they would actually end

Cut us off now, before we get worse

We are afraid of what we will become

Uncomprehendingly blank.

I walk back to the porch

Without even turning round

Across a sinking lawn that we won’t see again;

And then I stop – staring at the ground.

A little white wildflower stares back,

Barely discernible in the deepening dusk

One of hundreds, if it were day again

But right now this is all I can see

And it is enough.

Time goes on. Like I knew it would.

Distracted pupils glaze over,

Tired of straining nerve receptors

Trying to make sense of this lightlessness

Invisible eyes eventually accept invisibility.

Don’t you see?

Sallow skin grows damp and gray,

Too decayed to find itself repulsive

Are we glad we cannot see it?

But wait – what does it mean to see?

Don’t you know?

It isn’t like there’s anyone to talk to

I am stalk-silent. I don’t even care;

Whatever sanity there was in me has died

So there’s no point. But still, sometimes

I wonder what would happen if I tried.

I am immortally tired, yet I survive

Something stronger than sanity sustains this mind

Holding it together, keeping it alive

What would you say if I told you?

It’s a picture of a flower, fast-fading white.

The last thing I saw

In the grass somewhere

(Don’t know where you are, hidden in the dark

But my God! – it is good to know you’re there!)

By Shannon Lise

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