Everyone is dead.
Slumped against steering wheels,
on the floors of kitchens and bedrooms,
face down in swimming pools.
Bodies litter the malls,
the halls of prestigious universities,
they're in hospitals and sports bars,
at desks in corporate offices.
In the center of the oval office
lays the body of our president,
maggots crawl out
from beneath her eyelids.
The rats beneath the streets
lift their heads and twitch their noses.
Vultures fly off trees
into waves of decay.
Remnants of humanity crumble,
are buried, eroded and grown over.
We are dust and fossils; we are history.
The planet is lush and productive.
Out in an unnamed ocean
a new breed of dolphin is born,
its flippers more like modified claws.
One day, it will use them to grasp the shoreline.
The Pace of Waiting
The sunflowers grow tall
in fields we don’t know,
leaning over the broken bodies
of men younger than the day
of men wiser
the light of sunset;
a reveille to the angels.
These men chivalrous,
sanguine; anxious to make proud
their transfigured fathers.
Unaware, it would seem,
of the world’s way of forgetting
and not forgiving.
These men . . . a man, dreaming
in black and blue. Wondering if the
blood, the pain, is a gift for his god.
Hoping invisible hands
will gather all his relevant pieces
and let his hour be peaceful.
That those he loves most
will conquer this distance
sit alongside him,
and carry him home.
Jason Sturner grew up along the Fox River in northern Illinois. He is of European and Native American descent. Of his many jobs, those he most enjoyed were naturalist and botanist. His stories and poems have appeared in Space and Time Magazine, Liquid Imagination, Every Day Poets, Mad Swirl, and Sein und Werden, among others. He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, near the Great Smoky Mountains. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com