Yeah Write #204 entry- The Death of A Poet At the End of the World


The Death of A Poet At The End of The World


Shannon Barber

The girl is pretty. Her brown face is round with sun flower aspirations. If you imagine her smile, it feels like summer sun and feral joyful gardens.

But she is not smiling. Her face is cold, a steel sculpture of a sunflower.

“Put it down and walk away.”

Her voice should be sweetness but it is sharp and hard as a knife to your throat. You do as you are told.

“What are you doing here?”

Here is a cubby inside of one of the reclaimed buildings. It is an ash filled shitbox of a place. Here is the first line of defense against the remains of Them.

Your hands describe sleep in the air. Slowly, so she knows you are no threat. When you try to speak your voice is toxic sludge in the air and she nods.

“They took your tongue poet?”

She knows, of course she knows, your eyes fill with hot tears. Her surety wrings water from your desiccated body. When They came for you, your voice was heat and poison to Their ears. Your reason was a weapon. Your pen and tablet prohibited weaponry, your words an affliction to be cured with pain and madness.

You remember- They took your weapons and left you to die.

The pretty flower faced girl knows it all. She lowers the gun and her voice is warm as August air.

“Come with me”

She leads you through a warren of tight tunnels; her hand finds yours when there is no light. When you stumble she lifts you in strong, soft arms.  Hers is the first flesh, you’ve touched since They came for you. Your need to survive barely surpasses your need to be touched. You can wait.

The way is long and you nearly give up when the light begins to brighten. These are the survivors you prayed to your dead god for, the ones you cursed in your dreams.

Everything happens too fast. Sad eyed men tend your battered body, wash you and dress you in clean clothes. You are deposited in a bed with the sunflower faced girl. She holds you tight, whispering fragments of poems and songs.

You cry on her breast.

The sobs wallop your entire body; these are not the tears of panic and fear you’ve been crying for months. These are tears of relief, of joy. The pretty girl holds you gently and lets you cry.

These are the tears you wrote poems about- tears of cleansing fire and emotional fecundity- tears that shout down the deadness.

There with your hot cheek against the breast of a girl with a face like a sunflower you remember the truth of your body and soul.

For the first time since They took your weapons, you are full of hope. The words caroming around in your head are bright, they are like her smile and everything is full of dark hopeful beauty.

While you are dreaming, you can distantly hear the sunflower girl conferring with the men who cleaned you up. You already know. You are dying. You have been dying for weeks now and perhaps hung on for this moment.

You knew when you stumbled into the shitbox cubby.

Sweet tongue less poet you know.

The flower faced girl holds you and they stop speaking when they see your content smile. You use what is left of your voice,

“s’okay. Uoves.”

The flower faced girl translates with tears on her cheeks.

You said, it is okay loves- those will not be your last words, but they are the ones the flower faced girl will remember.

Your death is quiet and soft, the final thing you hear is the voice of the flower faced girl.

“Goodnight Poet. Goodnight.”



I will nerd later this week about my second person experiment and an idea of the apocalypse.



4 thoughts on “Yeah Write #204 entry- The Death of A Poet At the End of the World

  1. Pingback: Soundtracks, reasons and whatnot. | About that Writing thing.

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