The End of the World

The world has come to an end—at least as far as I am concerned. —I say "as far as I am concerned" because the subject to which I refer is "humanity" and I seem to be the only existing specimen. Today, I am Humanity.

I have seen not a dieing human soul in eleven years. Neither have I seen a living one.

I sit now on a stool at the kitchen counter of some random house in a suburb of what was once known as Chicago when there was a need in the world to call places by names. I don't suppose I need to call it "Chicago" for my own benefit. Humanity has moved beyond the need for proper nouns. But I'd like to hear, just once, someone say my name.

God, this place is void! All places are void! I find some comfort in little things, like beds-still-made I can crawl into and pretend was made for me, and, for some strange, great reason, trees give me comfort, are my haven and rest.

But most things now are merely reminders of what I lost, I think I lost—I sometimes wonder if not the world before was the dream and not this—that I have awakened from a prenatal subconscious into a world that is as much about me as is the world inside my mind—that the world I see began when my mind awoke—that the dream I had about "others," filling the world, driving the world, controlling the world, merely means to express a subconscious conviction that I, Humanity, am all there is to the story worth mentioning. I must be the main character. Right?

Certain things remind me more soberly of my loss (if it is a loss), my dream (if it is a dream): odd things like gardens that have forgotten that they need people in order to thrive. I know its silly. Shouldn't I rejoice that they live? But I don't think I would bear it worse if the gardens could not survive. It would mean that we mattered.

I have spoken to no one but the murmurs of the wind through vacant cities. I have seen no one but the phantoms plating billboards on I-69.

I sit—I'm shaking again—in a house in a suburb full of the absence of people. And I wonder to what end I am living. Am I still looking for "others"? Could I handle the existence of another "I," another ego, in this world? A world, once all your own, can it be shared? This would, I expect, sound like nonsense to someone who knows nothing but "others."

But, I look outside at the dark traffic lights and the wild gardens and the still swingsets and I... I so want to be held!

I can't get out of my mind a sentence I suppose I said as a child, or if not, then a sentence from my subconscious dream, or if not, then a sentence that has been imprinted upon the human racial memory clinging yet to secrets in my blood, for I can scarcely imagine what a child's lips would be like had they not once pursed to form these words—and I cannot shake the words. They are my source of greatest sorrow and soberest sanity. They haunt me deeply and touch me deeply. And I can hope—oh! can I hope?—that I may one day know the meaning: "Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?"


K-ren said...


Your interjected exclamation reminds me of Gerard Manley Hopkins... know him? I'm thinking of "God's Grandeur."

David said...

Nice poem - never known him before. Is he fan of those sorts of interjections? I like them, because people think and speak that way, with natural pauses, asides, and interjections.

K-ren said...

He's my favorite poet. I think this one : "Carrion Comfort"--also uses exclamatory interjections.