a worksong for the apocalypse. We Do Not Need Wings. Linda Niehoff.

22 Nov

We Do Not Need Wings


We tumble over broken streets hand in hand, jumping over puddles. The trees explode in color, the buildings tear themselves down. And then your hollow eyes tremble over a piece of paper, scanning the names of the dead before you fold yourself up and lock yourself away. In all the ditches, sumac blooms red like blood.


The old hollowed out hospital is nothing but gray concrete, walls painted in piss and graffiti. It’s used for huddle spots against a metal wind. We are not alone. Shadow heads rise up like black cottonmouths in stagnant water. We call out to them in hope but then they circle around. Their cigarette embers are dangerous stars and we realize in a minute there will be no getting out and so we turn. We run.


We were always running.


Your voice is a far away hollow tin can sound and you say, it’s fine, it’s fine, I’m fine, and I say, let me see and there is a metal silence and I ask again and the answer back is nothing and so I scream and scream and scream myself dry. Blood blooms up like poison sumac.


Somewhere along the night road an owl swoops out from the dark row of trees. He flies over me, wings open in a silent glide andohGod, I’m so tired of running.



Linda Niehoff



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