Ashley Halm

Apocalypse Song

I remember the day the world ended

I woke up in a lake of my own creation

the birds outside were squawking their

travel itineraries over their shoulders

as they swept off toward Eden or the Arctic Circle

we put on our sparkliest prom dresses

swarmed out onto the already scorched grass

marveled at how quickly summer had jumped on us in the

middle of winter and turned our cheeks pink like raspberries

we kissed and spun each other around in tight dizzy circles like figure skaters

we sped through traffic lights stuck on green in a

hot wired pickup truck and let our taffeta skirts

pillow out behind us like parachutes

we ransacked all the gas stations in town for beer and popsicles

before they had the chance to melt

didn’t bother looking for supplies because the grown-ups had

taken it all and left us for garden fertilizer

when the truck ran out of gas we smacked at the corroding asphalt with

bare feet until we were sticky and black up to our ankles

we rode past the Mona Lisa on skateboards with

cans of neon yellow spray paint and graphed the

trajectories of our short lives in hearts and

stars on every brick wall we found still standing

and at the end of the day, we dragged ourselves to the beach and

watched a radioactive orange sun plop itself

down on the ocean like an egg yolk

and when it disappeared under that thick green line we realized

that the sun was too heavy to bring itself back up

so we dove down deep into the water with it

our lungs and bellies filled with steam and pure hydrogen

and we dove to the place where the green water turns into

green forests turn into a starless black sky

we came to rest like pine needles on the soft floor

and exploded into supernovas so that the new people

would have some light to find their way

out, back to the stinging surface

maybe centuries from now they will emerge from that coral underworld

and their seaweed hair will dry and crack in the electric air

they will find crunched cans and the remains of tiny bonfires lit from popsicle sticks

scattered on the sand like the clothes left on the floors of our bedrooms

and maybe they will wonder about the childish tantrums of their ancestors

the ones they found calcified into statues on a sandbar not even a hundred feet off the coast

Ashley Halm is a junior at SUNY Fredonia double majoring in theatre arts and English with a minor in creative writing. Originally from Corning, New York, Ashley’s writing interests include poetry, flash fiction, and playwriting. In her sparse spare time, she enjoys cooking, making art, and reading.