A Post-Apocalyptic Diary

The universe spins on the axes of
a single stalk of wildflower
we spend mornings in the national parks,
laughing like the shrill wind
without rations & cabins
mouths earthen, drooling dew

For the terrapin is an overeating nebulae
teeth like celestial cutters
It would love the starfish, the glitter
spilled on the floorboards by the sun
a toddler, hands flailing like the clock
does when it looks down to see itself straddling
this colorful winded horse called life

Two lovers waltz in the kitchen,
swirls of chocolate following their footsteps
twisting and turning like a spasming clock
& Upon them I pray
for the door gods' blessings
to keep away the snow-coated coyotes,
those imps of the Moon's mischief

The children hold their picnics &
high teas on the lawn, flying kites
without worrying about airplane crashes
By dusky hues we sit on swings
do nothing at all, except feel for the
cautious hops of bunnies on the spring soil,
the yoga sequences of the clouds
it is only at night that the terrors manifest
& this second can be as long
as we want it to be, like how the children
never fear at all, for sundown & going home

The acid rains have come and gone
now it is us, huddled by the fire
singing songs of our ancestors
with silver tongues
there is a future to worry about
but let us breathe more
of this terra's perfumed air,
with its floating nectar & now, dew rains
because our silver tongues too can weave
into the tapestry of our muddled fates
something coherent, a worldly raison d'etre

I can make a promise to you,
about the wastelands: soon we can build
our cabins there, trees too
imperial ones, cedars & jacarandas &
everything else the garden gnomes
would call for, teapots & pools
Are you still worrying about the grazing creatures
with their serrated mouths?
But who wouldn't want the Easter bunnies back
You forget, how they huddled in their flocks
when the planets came crashing down on us
their cries, a siren that cut through
our jaggy slumbers, woke us up to the inferno
so let them in too & maybe we can learn
together, to be two ludic mountain shepherds

We bade farewell to the crumbling grounds, instead
step, jump lighter than the bumbling missiles did,
into the radiance of the clouds,
still balmy from leftover solar flares & there
we will create a new sanctuary for trustful bunnies
beneath us, hellhounds roam but here
in this genesis, why not try
to understand first, how gentle giants become
after all, we, as morsels of stardust
were not born bellicose

Fires, cataclysmic raiders brought on by the shelling
have grounded this terra into draconic bone
not even the primordial oak trees survive,
remnants of their bark scattered around what
were once parks. The red spider lilies lay ashen
in graves charred with similarly ambitious cherubims
& the skeletons of the artists still clutch rifles
which we pry from them in death
will the emptiness relieve them or
had the weight been a passing mourner
So, like the rightful monarchs before us, those
pickaxe-wielding kings & queens in woven hats
we mine, for stardust from the powdered ruins
of this cursed city
then with tender breaths, sweep the dust into animal biscuits
wait for life to scuttle again

We freed the bunnies today
from that unknowable tabula rasa of the cargo bay.
Outside was a more unforgiving prairie
where imperial carpets are red, dyed with blood
rubies cruelly pillaged from stardust
& as the bunnies journey they will find
other smoldering lives, but in this country
a civilization of creatures in eternal naivete
stampeding bunnies will finally overrun the killing fields

After we delivered the corpses home,
saw to the spirit’s ascension on haloed aviaries
let us hop up onto the roof and watch
with bated breath the shimmering cast of candles
dance through the black grime of this oil-coated earth
let us feel, together, living flesh undulating again,
that melts the unyielding isolation
of this city built from past desolations, past mistakes

Willow Kang is a writer from Singapore. After school, find her reading thick history textbooks, aimlessly writing poems, and solving frustrating math problems, in a futile attempt to conquer boredom. Just make sure that her coffee bowl stays full.