How The World Will End
First the short-sighted will kill
all the coral. The far-sighted will leap
to their deaths, evading the inevitable blaze. The far-sided
will thank the Electoral college. The fire will spread
to the top floor. The truthers will inexorably
find evidence. The birthers will fear the end
of Western culture. The pro-lifers will bomb
the right-to-lifers. The embryos
will defrost. The scientists will drop
their papers, say “according to
my calculations” and be laughed
off the planet. The terrorists won’t win
this time. The blind will sniff out
the CBD-dusted mice for your emotional
support anaconda. The therapy
seeing-eye dogs will blow whistles
nobody hears. The NSA will know nothing
beyond your relationship status. Starbucks will
cancel Christmas and new years. Even the deaf will call
themselves DJs. Even the numb will feel
the room getting hotter. The dumb will post
what they can’t say. The mediums will set
their intentions and charge you
for mantras. ™ will stand
for transcendental meditation. The East will open
a social media follower factory. The West will cleanse
with Ayuhuasca diets. The President will
stop surprising you. Businesses will all become
subscription services, personally tailored to your
needs, including the newspapers. Individual will replace
indivisible in the Pledge of Allegiance,
and Myers-Briggs behaviorism will replace God.
The truth will be something you embalm
to your Pinterest board. The billionaires will sell real
estate on Mars. Your property will be
waterfront. The lost souls
will belong to the white men and the lost voices
to whomever’s left. The lost boys
will be boys and women be girls and
everyone in between clutch their bladders.
The millennial boys will cliffnote abridged
visions of Peter Pan and girls Cinderella
on their phones. The contractors
will replace buildings with brandings.
The contracts will be signed in crude oil.
The will will not account for Bitcoin.
The student loan bubble will burst.
The teachers will run out
of food stamps. The administrators will pay
lip service to diversity. The government will sell
assault rifles which will be America’s most effective
gun control movement. The filing cabinet
will replace the donkey. The nurses will prescribe
lip balm. Your insurance will cover
your mouth with a handkerchief
and meurchloroform. The doctors will tell you
nothing is wrong.
Christine Reilly lives in New York, New York. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writers Village and Gotham Writers Workshop. Her first novel, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday, was published in 2016 by Touchstone and is the recipient of a Kirkus Star. She had published poetry and short stories in The Adirondack Journal, Barely South Review, and over fifty other journals. Follow her on Twitter @reillypoet.