After Everyone is Dead


Everything that will happen has already happened.  This rain is making the grass greener and these diseased birds are eating the garbage from the ground.  God continues to text us encouragement although standard messaging fees apply.

The streetlights will turn green even if no one is there to drive away, the bread will turn bad in the freezer no matter how tightly you wrap it, and I have a feeling the earth will continue turning even after everyone is dead.

Heaven is too far to climb to with a ladder and hell cannot have proper ventilation.

Worrying gives you wrinkles and sadness makes you old and here is the reflection of the moon in a puddle and here is the umbrella the crazy man on the bus made from coat hangers and a plastic bag, and here is you and here is me and here is the earth still spinning even after everyone is dead.

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One-Man-Panda

This is a maze we cannot escape from.
This is a rain that will not end.
Our umbrellas have turned to backwards bats and flown away.
Here is a party we are throwing.
Here is a man dressed as a panda.
Everyone else is in normal clothes.
The films we loved as children will always make us cry.
No matter what we ate for breakfast, we will always be hungry again.
This is a wall we thought was a window.
This is a hand we thought was attached.
This is the sadness of a one-man-panda
drunk on cheap beer and dancing to ABBA
alone in the basement.

Dead Bird or 13 Observations on Mortality

1. The sky looked like the clouds were stapled to it

2. Something about the wind

3. We saw three birds in the park

4. The fourth bird was in the box

5. It wasn’t raining, but it looked like it might

6. We found the box by digging into a soft spot in the earth

7. The way you collar bones poked out of your open coat

8. We thought the box was buried treasure

9. The dirt on our fingers as we dug in the earth

10. We didn’t mean to laugh

11. Something else about the wind

12. In the box was a budgie in a top hat that someone had made for the bird to wear in the grave

13. We didn’t mean to laugh

The Man With the Butterfly Heart

His heart was a butterfly.  That isn’t a metaphor.  The butterfly wings flapping made the blood go round.  His blood was as light as the wind.  He was very short and very thin, and he liked throwing rocks at children.  The doctors said his heart was too fragile to let love in.  He hated everything because he had to, bouts of cynicism to keep his health sustained.

He lived all alone in a big house.  He had a dog he had to kill because every time he looked at it he felt the butterfly wings begin to wobble.  He had a big house because the people in the town were always giving him money.  Medically forbidden to love, they thought.  That made them love him move.  Plus, his blood was light as wind and on blustery days before a storm he’d tie himself to a string and sail above the town as a human kite.  Everyone liked that a lot.

He became the town mascot.  They made a museum about him with his dead dog and a few of the rocks he’d thrown at kids.  The more the town loved him, the more the man had to push away.  People brought him cakes and cookies every day.  Depending on the person, he’d sometimes have to spit in their face, shit in their cake and tell them to go away.  A lot of cakes were wasted that way.  The townspeople brought him more and more just so they could say, He shat in my cake, the man with the butterfly heart shat in my cake.

It quickly became a game.  Three people bought the man a boat.  He took the boat from the guy with the weird beard and the harry neck; there was no danger of loving him.  He burned the boat from the girl with the long fingers that smelled like lilacs and rain, and to the guy who’d read him poetry through a window one night, he burned the boat and ran after him holding a flaming chunk of the boat’s frame, intent to kill or maim so that he’d stay away.

It took the man less than a day to realize he was being played.  His loveless heart was now a game.  He felt is heart begin to flutter.  The butterfly began to break.  He realized he’d loved the town all along, a little bit of love for every person, not enough to make a difference one by one.  But now the whole town had turned away.

The man with the butterfly heart died that day.  His heart in little bits now sits in his museum beside the dog, and there’s a little metal plaque beside his grave: we loved this man but not enough was all that the town needed to say.

Paperclip Jungle

I keep a jar of paperclips by my bed, and I bend them into animal shapes in my sleep.  Look, this is a frog, this is a zebra with a comb-over.  I don’t know how I do it, but when I wake up, they’re bent into shapes and snuggled in the sheets with me.  Paperclip penguins are the best at snuggling.

I made a paperclip horse once and swallowed it by mistake.  I must have inhaled it in a severe snore, and when I woke up it was in my stomach, prancing around.  The only way to remove was to go to sleep the next night and swallow a paperclip cowboy to coax it out.

I had to pay the cowboy eighty dollars cash, upfront, but it was worth it.  The horse was safe and so was I.

Envelope

Dear Diary,

When I was eight, I found a dead squirrel in the backyard at my dad’s house.  I wrapped it in a plastic bag and buried it in the freezer chest in the basement, the freezer chest my brother hid in during hide-and-go-seek, and everyone thought it was hilarious, and no one realized it was dangerous.

Dear Diary,

I sometimes eat butter like it’s slices of cheese, cold butter bitten into.  After the bad thing happened when I was 12, I ate a whole pound of cold butter.

Dear Diary,

When I was 13, I remembered about the squirrel and put it in a pot on the stove when no one was home.  I boiled until all that was left was bones.

I put the dried bones in a manila envelope dear diary.

Dear Diary,

I’ve been having dreams where my teeth are falling out.

Dear Diary,

Sometimes, while driving in a car, I get the urge to open the door and tumble out into the night.

Dear Diary,

I moved out when I was 17, and I took the envelope of squirrel bones with me.  I moved again when I was 19 and again at 20, unpacking the envelope into the top shelf of the most far-away cupboard in every house as though I knew what the bones were supposed to be.