End Games

For JH

If you think this is a ruin,
you’re mistaken.

So dinner is a jagged
jigsaw; swept off the
table, eating the floor.
So the windowsill’s
shrouded with mayflies-
murk-wing confetti.

So it’s been a sad year,
and down the street
a car-alarm is blotting
out bedtime, and
the ink-flocked sky
is a chromatogram; fading
charm. But look

To the right, under that
drab-drip starsign. A small tree
is flexing his neck. The birds take
their cue, scatter neatly.
They are leaving for the
outdoor cinema, where
they will crowd the back row,
flap at their favourite parts.

We could spend our days
fearing the end of days.
How we would go, modes of
I like to dress my doom
in the Rapture; snuffed out
to the snapping of fingers,
bone-still mute music, until
every city is spat-out gum,
rootless squares of light.

You prefer a zombie
apocalypse: all phone-gripped
kitchen knives and lampshade
machetes, towel-tourniquet
toothy tumult, friendless
frenzy days.

Outside your window everyone’s
dancing. You think it’s because
they are infected. Adrift in your
room, we lock the door.
Across the road the car is
still crying. The McDonald’s sign
blinks and fuzzes, keeping time.
Maybe this will be its last valentine
to french fries.

So a gnawing crowd
will buckle through the walls. So
we’ll disappear. But

For now, nothing’s ruined.
Come here. Kiss me. You can
put down your butter-knife.