The End by Arkaye Kierulf
Today I pressed this close to my heart and prayed that I was strong enough to be okay.
You must have felt it working in your bones. It’s begun: The papers
print the same stories over and over, and have you checked
the obituaries? Already, nobody remembers
how their first kiss went. The phone keeps ringing and ringing
when nobody’s home. Between our skins is a necessary friction
that separates us forever. Look: space. Somewhere, a lost key. It’s begun:
What was once the wind or an echo or an accidental sweetness
is now a bird outside your window singing with perfect pitch and timbre
the song that’s on all our tongues, cut. What pulls from the earth to exist
the earth pulls back into itself: this and this and this is mine. You own nothing.
Our bodies breathe to a rhythm, to one direction, to one regression. It’s begun:
The truth stares us down like an owl: There’s no place to go: You own nothing.
In the dark you hear movement— a squeak, a hiding. The heart opens, closes, opens.