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    During the Apocalypse

    by Mel X

    ~~~

    The jungle gym looks like veins at night, 
    looks like
               pulsing
                          beating 
    it is pulsing and beating
    and a hand appears on the ladder.
                                     I am afraid to let go of you.

    Forests are a cold kind of calm, 
    full of
               lost shoes
                          hats
                                     (lives?)
    and voices echo,
               pulsing and beating 
    in your ears as you run and
                                     I am afraid to let go of you.

    Up and down the bloated highway
    full of empty
               cars
                          heads
    and far off in the distance
    the pulsing and the beating of 
    gunshots
               —empty casings fall
                          one-two 
                          two-three
               —and we know the doors won’t be opening and 
    I can’t hold on forever but
                                     I am afraid to let go of you.

                          The world wasn’t always like this, baby.
    It used to be you could walk outside without turning around to see someone at your throat.

                          But we’re not very lucky now.
    Don’t let go of me, dear.


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