This is the Way the World Ends

For Paradise, California, 2018, destroyed by fire

This is the way the world ends,
In fire and ash,
With a dun sky and a darkened sun,
With a cough, a gasp, a choking scream.

This is the way the world ends,
In soot and stink,
In a burning house on a burning street,
In a burning town near a burning woods.

This is the way the world ends,
In a quick death,
Asphyxiation in a wall of flame
Sucking the air out of your lungs.

This is the way the world ends,
In blazing heat
That melts your flesh and dessicates
Your body into shards of bone.

This is the way the world ends,
In fire and ash.
It might have come another way,
By flood, or bullet, or your own hand;

But not for you,
No, this is the way it ends,
With a dark sun and a dirty sky,
In raging heat and wild flame.

This is the way the world ends.

Roger Stoll is a Latin America & Caribbean solidarity activist with the Task Force on the Americas, a three-decades-old anti-imperialist human rights organization. He has published articles (San Francisco Examiner, ZNet), book reviews (Counterpunch.org, Dissident Voice, Jewschool), and poetry (Dissident Voice, New Verse News). He has been arrested numerous times in support of various causes. Read other articles by Roger.