end times

by Elizabeth Robinson

Vaunted end of the world.  Apocalypse who mutes.

Polar bears listen to the sound of ice.  Listen to such little.
Smaller still.

Hand cramps over the broken keyboard.  Look: the letters
effaced from their keys by overuse.

Rips in the pillowcase where the head should be.  Itch
or ache where the crown would have been.  So sharp

the shears that ceased to cut the hair.

In this dim, rats steal the fallen seed.  If meaning
were incremental,

by what measure?  Smaller still.

Once upon time and once upon day, light
apprehending a single segment of the
single strand of the spider’s web.

Fatigue is made up of these increments of
sameness.  Partially melted units of

“despite.”  In this glare, the bass of the car
radio shakes the ground.  Through

the tinted windows, it’s not possible to see who is driving.


Elizabeth Robinson is a recent winner of a Pushcart Prize. Her books Thirst & Surfeit (Threadsuns Press) and Excursive (Roof Books) are coming out in 2023. Other recent work has appeared in Conjunctions, Image, Plume, Scoundrel Time, and Volt.


Image description: A close-up photograph of a thin ice formation against a dark background.

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