Fade to Black

In my movie
the Rapture will only lift the broken, burnt
bodies of the people who caught the first hot wave
of the bomb blast, locked outside the lead-lined
steel-girded and concrete-shielded cathedrals
housing the elite of humanity. In my movie
angels and seraphim will lift only the dead
lying in the streets outside
the crumbling ruins of civilization

the children barricaded beneath
kitchen sinks, huddled against one another

waiting for their parents to come home from work
or the store. In my movie, the upper
echelon of society
will emerge from protective cocoons
stocked with cases of tinned meat and
sparkling water to find they’ve inherited
a world burnt beyond recognition, unfit for
habitation, abandoned by God. In
my movie, these people will fall to
the ground, scream, “Why, why, why”, or some similar

hackneyed cliché, just before the picture fades
and the screen grows cold and black. It’s not
a perfect ending, but it’s all
I’m able to come up with.
It’s all I’ve got.

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Slipstream, Penumbric, and Maintenant. She is the co-author of the books, Music Theory for Dummies and Music Composition for Dummies and currently works as an instructor at The Richard Hugo Center in Seattle and at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Read other articles by Holly.