By Rachel Bunting
A man says the world will end on Saturday
at 6 pm. Instantly we think of the teenage
boy from our son’s daycare, killed last week
in a car. How he smiled. What is a body?
Muscle tendon nerve and bone. A million
million cells, each one owning its own name.
Its own nucleus. Who can outrun the thing
that chases everyone? But let’s say we could.
Here’s what we would take: An empty book.
A pen. A mockingbird, its million songs.
Not our son’s body, but his voice.
On the radio another man, younger, talks
about the gifts we give each other: someone
gave him a heart so he could live; he gave
the heart a body. Is this, then, what the body
is? A cabinet, a locking trunk? When the world
doesn’t end we are only a little disappointed.
Just drink more margaritas and sit down
to a plate of enchiladas verdes. Apocalypse;
a beautiful word. The plum tree out back
a fragile thing. It shimmers in the heat. We
pocket loose change and wait for the fires
to go out all over the world.