When The World Went Away

She was standing.
The palm tree was standing
in the neighbors’ yard.
The house was lying on the ground,
taking a break
in the morning
before dragging
itself up
and going to work.
The moon was standing.
She was standing.
The shambles were screaming.

68.3 miles
“What will we do when the world ends?”

Skies know how to grieve.
They ache in the open,
sores blaring to the thunder.
They writhe with every color in their arsenal,
searing out a letter:
“I will come home.”

So, you woke up to the static of absence.
Relived naïve laughter.
How long would it take to stop?
More time than you have,
So mute the alarm clock.
Put a sheet across the wall clock
You know you’ve always wanted
to take a hammer to that watch
Leave only one.
Tuck the concept of time
beneath your tamed abandon,
into your abdomen;
always scream from your diaphragm
if it’s worth it.
If you choose to forget what day it is now,
you’ll never know again.
Step one: no matter what.
Also, breathing
might be useful.

Your only setting-off music is imaginary;
no complaints about the soundtrack.
No one’s here to watch you lean against this pillar
like you never want to leave

There is nothing against mourning
the pre-ransacked paid-off building you walk through
day after day until
here you are leaving.
Traitor to your home.
When do you know if it’s worth it?

If you get any sleep,
do not dream of someone saving you from poison.
You will wake up
having forgotten how to save yourself.

“And what if we are walking
in parallel lines?
How would we know?”


“And what if you are dead?”

“And what if I’m not? Walk.”

“And what if I am dead?”

“Don’t say that.
What if you are?”


Potholes are malicious,
you know.
Tree roots equate to bruises;
if branches had pity, they would scream in your defense.
You are so outnumbered in this world.

Death can dance with both of you, ok.
Alert. Keep it that way.
Interesting strategy.

Know better
than to think
that he’s not so far.
I can’t be tricked
or pushed
so quickly

You must decide.
Pour every memory into your being,
a gluttonous high
of dragging nostalgia,
feast on the contents
of your miraculous brain cells?
Distract yourself?
Or wait?
Until you could die

from withdrawal or anything else,
drop a crumb into your gasping consciousness;
you have almost forgotten
and it is just hazy enough
to not destroy you yet.
Spread them thin,
like butter that you don’t have
over toast that you don’t have?
Your pet,
your favorite socks,
a bar of chocolate:
all are lethal weapons
at some point
to a broken brain.
You must decide.

When you start hoping
that you’ll stumble into him,
not over him,
tie your subconscious and self-consciousness together
and let them eat away at each other.
When silver tarnishes,
it, too, is unrecognizable,
but you have not lost your value.
Not yet.
Keep walking.
This is not the hard part,
this is not the terror,
you will know so much that your eyes bleed
and you might scream curses come the ending,
but this.
This is easy.

She is standing.
must run on something.
It all becomes a blur of balance beams,
a timeline of chances,
a loss.
It all becomes afraid.
only extends so far,
so there are stones to throw
and people to catch
and lives to live,
so walk.
Just because you planned for it
doesn’t mean you expected it.
Just because you planned for it
doesn’t mean you were prepared.

A big stick.
And the kitchen knives,
the ones
she wouldn’t pick up
years ago.
They’ll slice through bone,
but they are cased in leather.

He is hoping
that she is standing.
And every sunrise
is a short-range projectile,
stabs you to the quick as it
screams off its scroll of souls
still beneath its heat,
a post-office bulletin board
of who-have-you-seen,
never illuminating the desired answer.

Ocean shore ocean shore ocean shore ocean shore
Envy them both,
forever reuniting.

Ocean shore ocean shore ocean shore ocean shore
Pity them both,
forever forced apart.

Shattering sidewalks-
Stop looking at the sky.
Just don’t.
I know you’ll not believe me,
but would you rather glimpse ghosts or bloodstains?
Force your eyes into a state of paralytic misunderstanding.
I am telling you to either move or die!
Either die or live!
Either choose or go mad!
Stop looking at the sky.

You’ll keep thinking
about stars,
universal connections,
sight and maps and
what she is staring at.
Maybe it’s better to forget.
take her name to your grave.
And back.

The world is full of sleepwalkers.
Lumbering, moaning night sounds;
the dark is a place
and you want to leave.

Call them what you will
but you are surrounded.
It is a constant state
and no wonder I haunt your hallucinations.
You’ll enjoy the company
after a while.
Then you can really worry.

Paint over nightmares
with falters
and mistakes,
imagination you cannot mute,
every jolt when you fell,
Anything to keep you walking
Then anything to keep you asleep
Say that they are snapped clichés
and wince.
This is your survival guide.

Your only tactic is to shield;
Oh, right.
Count your toes like you’ve forgotten.
Replace her eye color.
all the right letters
on every tree
that longs for its branches.

She is…

Well, you could call it standing.

How many days, again,
did you say you could tackle this?

Shut up.

How long before it came
did you talk like you were strong enough?

Shut up.

And how long will you now
leave your wounds open to the salt sprays,
whispers screeching at the moon you curse,
echoes weighing down your ankles?
How long will you fool yourself,
Stupid girl



Say please.

Are you seriously counting footsteps
Whatever works
Not that you’re sane anymore

You think she thinks
this is possible?
Your name is not graffiti
splashed across a county.
Your name was left behind
to drown in misuse or be strangled by a different set of teeth.
Your name was left lonely
in a sidewalk crack
the day she decided.
You are the only person on the planet holding on.
And you thought you felt isolated before now.

You think he thinks
you’re still alive?
Your name is a branding.
The county is seeping torchlight;
your hair, a reminder of the fire.
You are a fire.
You have exploded weaponry upon both futures.
Maybe he could’ve survived this
until he made the choice to find you.
You are a walking weakness.
So many people are closer.
Any amount of originality
is still replaceable.
You are repetitive
you set the world to flame.

You know
the definition of denial?
Look around
without parasitic glows
clogging your brain,
clinging to your eyelids!


She broke.
She forgot you.
She died.

Let go.
Finger joints
relinquishing handholds.

He broke.
He forgot you.
He died.

Let go.
Too many here
for shredded palms to hold.

She’s broken.
She’s forgotten.
She’s dead.

What can you do now?
Offer a burial to a lost body?
Meet her ashes?
Hold her skull?
You will not even find her funeral.

He’s broken.
He’s forgotten.
He’s dead.

What will you do now?
Weep magic over remains?
Swallow ambitions of the dead?
Think ill no longer?
You cannot lose me in the maze.
You cannot mislead your navigator,
cannot jump until free of your shadow.
You fall.

Broken or breaking,
there is no difference.
All in time,
the only abundance remaining.


…Why are you walking?

She is lost.

He is lost.

All is lost.

If this land
can be brought down
then why not you?
Knees and hillsides
clattering together
Gaps, missing pieces,
what was once important
taken to nothing
everything is destructible
you are not her hero
you are not his hero

You do realize
it’s ok
to stop walking


Desperation is clumping
in your muscles and around
your ears, do not go deaf,
so close now
so far now
so close now
so hopeless
come on

Why are you eager for an echoing openness?
A scalding lack?

so close now

…You said you’d walk.
(so close now.
so close now.)
so walk.
one foot.
one foot.
bone muscle ligament tendon
one foot.

so hopeless.
come on.

so close now.
come on.

tell yourself it’s been more miles
stop your calculations
all you need now is air
for once there is enough
of what you need
there is enough
it’s enough
come on

It all starts with steps;
breaking pieces traverse landscapes
without assistance
(you are a battle.
you are the reason.)
maybe this is all you have

There is a point
after which
you cannot turn around
(so close now
you are the
come on)
you reached it in your driveway
there is no reason to stop now:
you have nothing to go back to
and the possibility is everything

ahead of you.
come on.

You have not failed until you arrive to emptiness
Nothing can prepare you for this
There is nothing to return for
So walk!

The world is
The world is
The world


The world is more than fire
The world is more than flood
The world is more than them

Even if the world
was only fire,
the world was only flood,
the world was only dust of deadness,
irremovable, on your fingertips,
even if it was all only
standing to fall,
starting to end,
starting to fall
over and over,
even if it was only,
if it was only them,
she is standing.
if you are so stubborn
that you will not forget-
if you won’t walk the easy way,
you have to choose something
What will you do when the world ends?


She is sitting.
There is a palm tree sitting
in a yard,
holding the ground closer
than it was ever able to
There is a house
sitting down
resigned to keeping her company.
This is more than taking a break;
it cannot drag itself any longer.

Maybe there is an inch of hope
somewhere inside this torn-up road
but which stone do you suggest overturning first?
Which section of asphalt looks the most promising?
Where will she find anything?
Is there some frame she should stand atop
to make the view into a scene
other than the current swatch
of empty

Can you die of impatience?

There is nowhere to walk to
circles will make you dizzy
without an object to orbit
you are adrift in your galaxy,
tossing stones into abysses
and listening for splashes,
strangling your worries with loose threads
You cannot unwind forever.

Stupid girl.

I told you not to make anything your universe.

There is enough air here
for however long you can stand it.
Stop jumping at every silhouette
to untangle your hopes from the vines and roof beams
it doesn’t mean a thing
you cannot hope him here
he cannot help you here
how long are you willing to wait

It will always be
leave and wonder
if the horizon might be altered
the second you are miles away
versus stay
how long are you willing to wait

You said
you could

I know.

You said
you could

I lied.

You said
you could

Shut up.

Some things,
I am incapable
of walking away from.

The world is more than fire.
The world is more than this.
I can’t forget, ok.

You will

So let me.

I did.

“And what if you are dead?”

“And what if I’m not? Walk.”

is nowhere
to walk to.

And what if he is dead?

And what if he’s not?

What then?

how long are you willing to wait

When you start hoping
that he’ll stumble into you,
not over you,
tie your wonders and your worries together
and burn them in the ache of every sunrise.

What will you do when the world ends?

We have already lost the world;
I’ll amuse chance for a lifetime longer.
(Is every balcony in this neighborhood a widow’s walk?)
The world ends and ends and ends
And I will keep my promises.

What will you do when the world ends?

for how long

until the ocean rises to meet us,
skeletons colliding,
limbs crashing together alongside waves
ocean shore ocean shore
sand dragged to the other edges of existence
until the world is only flood

for how long

until wind decides to toss us into elsewhere,
scattering ashes
until the world is only fire


until we are overrun
until there is nothing else
and life is a mythical ailment
until the world is only them

how long are you willing to wait

until, after millennia,
compassionate tectonic plates
haul our atoms close enough
to hold each other’s half-lives.

until the world is only.

for how long


“and you might scream curses come the ending”
So it would seem.
So it is over.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Or is there not enough soul
among humanity
to create such?
So is this the terror
This is the worse.
This is the empty.

Are you seriously counting dust grains
Shut up.
Snappish much?
Taunting much?

What have I become?
Ink stains on left hands,
wilting flowers in half a vase of water,
What have I become?
Deserted tear ducts,
smudges on foreheads,
mirrors overcrowded with faces,
looking for answers.
What have I become?

So even if he gets here
I won’t be who he’s looking for.
He’s not going to get here.
You’ve been scratching days across tire tracks,
you’ve figured it out.

You said
you could

One foot
One foot
One foot
This is boring.

One foot
One foot
One foot
Stop pacing.

One foot
One foot
One foot
What are you trying to accomplish?
Where do you hope you are walking to?
How many times will you orbit an illusion?
However many it takes, I guess.

Do you even remember?

Don’t you remember-
I cannot forget.

Cannot, not will not?

So that is your shackle?
And that is why some things
you cannot walk away from,
cannot, not will not?

Do you ever

Do you?

How many minutes until I can’t hold the curtain back?

This feels a lot like the terror to me.

You’re not the only one who can lie.


What if I mentioned
that you are not
slicing his world into slivers like scissors into foam,
that you are not the reason,
that you are not the cause,
not the curse?
Did that slip my mind,
that you are not the destructor?
Did I not say it correctly earlier,
that the world is more than fire,
and so are you?


Too late now.

So I was wrong when I said
you wouldn’t find her funeral.
You’ll get to give her
a proper burial.
Wilted flowers on a grave,
dirt of everything you didn’t say
smudged along your forehead.

You left her side.
Will you guard her graveside?

Or look out for yourself now?

A stupid girl,
Selfish boy- you made
a good pair, you know.
A shame.

You could turn now.
Leave her carcass to the elements.
It will break you to see it,
that is a fact,
it will smash your cells
even further.
Keep you restless
even longer.
Maybe it’s better to forget.


You’re in the home stretch
toward a stranger’s house
(Is every balcony in this neighborhood a widow’s walk?)
You’re in the last steps
until you cannot walk
Why will you risk your own legs?


For once,
you’re right.

68.3 miles
“How do you want the world to end?”
“Chainsaws. Explosions. A huge kiss.”

0.00 miles
What happens when the world ends?
Chainsaws. Explosions. A huge kiss.

They are standing.


10 thoughts on “When The World Went Away”

  1. This alone made me follow your Blog. Took me 3 days to finish off and on but Well done. A very coherently created syntactically designed image. I am doing my best to not get into Critic Mode here.

    1. Thank you so much! And please, go into Critic Mode whenever you wish. Any constructive feedback and advice is always appreciated. Thanks for following; I’m glad you saw something you liked!

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