Long Before The End of The World

Long Before The End of The World

It’s under my skin, spread out like a thin layer
of drying pus between the transverse ligaments of my forearms
the ropey muscles that pit in the backs of my knees
the serrated blade of spine, the muscles that knot between my fluttering scapula.

All around me I see evidence that life will go on long after
this cancer sets in, sends thin hair-filaments of death like optical tubing
fetid piping through my body, pumping death into every
pulsing, flapping organ and gasping orifice

there’s no need to drop bombs or send plagues,
where I’m concerned—the apocalypse
is already happening to me.


Illustration: Vishnu Prasad © All Rights Reserved