johnny finds oblivion, and goes back home
it’s all an act.
our hair, i mean. the way it falls, i mean.
nobody knows it better than God, except
maybe his lonely neighbor who watches
every morning as he pulls it from his scalp.
there’s an old country song i made up just now,
where a lonely warbling woman rasps on
about the end of the world.
there is a great deal of loneliness in this poem.
it has already been mentioned two times. this poem
has holes and so all the loneliness of the world
has unfortunately began to leak in. (that’s three)
in this song about the end of the world
we were still fixing our hair. you see,
everything is already ending all the time.
we just go on wading through it,
knee deep in the muck and not a bit hopeless.
in this song there were birds, and nobody
understood this bit, why the birds were there,
living their bird lives while the rest of us
were handed an ending, and too soon.
we held it in our hands, like a corpse.
we could not fly, and this is why the birds.
someone wanted to remind us
our hope is a home-grown thing
unfeathered and without a loud call
sung into the morning.
at the end of the street the world could end.
where the road gets uneven and the fence
bears its chain-link teeth the world will end.
or he will fall in love.
or nothing will happen at all,
even with him standing there,
and nobody will build a monument
to this unmonumental moment,
and the old country song on the radio
will go on singing about the birds.
perhaps all of this at once.
perhaps the world will end
and we will just be making do.
the loneliest thing
is watching the birds from the window
(four times) and wondering how they met.
how they all decided they were meant to be.
that they would dance and sing in unison.
i found out the world was ending
when i was only thirteen.
so of course, i fixed my hair.
i went to the park,
i fed the pigeons. i placed kindness
gently in the mouth of my demise.
all this is to say,
today the end and tomorrow the end.
and tomorrow the birds.
close your eyes. it’s all happening already.