• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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The Ruin

We locked up as usual, as if
we were just going to the movies,
as if we were sure we would be back soon.
Three bags on the porch—all we could carry
to the end of the world. Above, the sky
crackled with dust, threatening
to kiss the ground, which had parted,
baring the dying heart of the earth.
Wait, said Ma. She turned
And strung the key on a piece of chicken-wire
In plain sight. It was the wire fence
Our passionfruit grew on, their fruit
Unnaturally large and heavy from the radiation
dripping seeds and yellow flesh
into the mewling eyes of newborn weeds.

It was the house we had grown up in
and to which we would never return. Maybe
after all this was over, someone
would stumble across it, clean the dust and
scorched earth from our beds, and make it
another home. We left our pictures
on the mantelpiece
so the house would remember us.



The Ruin

Time’s up, our phones reminded us. Rain due
In fifteen minutes. We picked up our things,
ran to the bus. Ma and my sister faced straight ahead
both pretending not to cry.
I peered through the back window to watch the rain,
the lightning coursing across the sky—and last of all,
the bones of our house, crammed, greedily,
into the earth’s mouth.