My tires bumped over the rough path,
each rut and swell imprinting themselves on my
car’s shocks in a way that only
Oklahoma dirt roads are capable of.
The tires stopped.
It was a clear night and
I could see the lights of Elk City
seven miles away.
You had shown me this with pride
as you leaned against the hood of
a black car I no longer have.
The luggage in my backseat
called out to me, commanding me
to leave this town, this place.
The red dirt glowed in my taillights,
bright clouds created by tires.
The dirt rose up for the first time in days,
quick to lay back down. Each particle
drifting apart and together,
making a new pattern.
She smothers herself in blankets.
Wraps herself tightly in layer after
layer of woven cloth until nothing
sticks out except the tip of her head.
She sleeps deeply in her cocoon, protected
from anything that might wake her
from the dreams where she soars through
the sky-a superhero defending the world
from the bad guys.
One day I will have to explain to her that
the bad guys are all around. One day I will have to
hold her when someone breaks her heart
and she has long forgotten how to be an
all powerful being that can create her own destiny.
One day comfort will be much harder to find
and the idea of wrapping yourself in a swath of
material to keep the darkness out will seem
as illogical as being a superhero.
For now I will tell her none of these things. I will
let her feel safe in her pile of blankets and stuffed
Hordes of the undead
parade across the screen –
some fast, some ploddingly slow,
all recently revived from the tomb.
They are mute except for
scuttling footsteps and occasional
attempts at vocalization –
their existence one of base
needs. I wonder if they can still feel
their humanity – if it haunts
them in flickers and memories.
I know you are still there, always in the
background. Where would
you go? After all, there are machines to
help you breathe and implements to give
you food, because you can no longer
do even this on your own.
It is too easy for the world to
forget that being trapped by a body which
no longer responds does not lessen who you are.
If zombies can remember their lives
before that disorientating moment when they
re-emerged into the world craving human flesh,
then I have to pause and consider that each
moan is a plea for someone to put an end
And you are still there…
Receipts, plastic cups, televisions that no longer function…
Sifting through the pieces of a life in broken fragments of products –
A permanent fossil record of plastic bits purchased at dollar store prices. The sum of what we will eventually be known for nothing more than a doll without eyes, soul banished to the toy graveyard.
Cracked porcelain plates and falsely smiling pictures. How will we be remembered? By the way we survived our days or be the way we lived them?
A baying dog on the edge of night, the rustle of leaves, the screech of the wilderness held back by the manmade glow of permanent light and the items that refuse to decompose.
Now you are nothing more to me than a shadow, a wispy figure hugging the edges of darkness, a silhouette hidden in the debris of immortality.