uhmareka, post collapse: three
We will remember nothing but the taste of salt and how it’s in everything, and how it never changes even though everything else does, and so we will cry and cry and be fed.
A woman will stand in the street and open her mouth, one summer night. Noiseless for hours until she retches up a star, hot thing covered in mucus.
I want to say something like it turns out that the sun had a face, which implies a mouth that knew all our names, but the truth is there will never have been any sun; only the North star, after all. It will fall down and land behind a woman’s house, in Detroit. It will be dark for weeks, and everyone’s eyes will glow.
Here and now will be the faded kind of memory like waking from a dream that loosens its grip as we become wider and wider awake. At the grocery store, we will hear someone whistling the old anthem. They will not be able to remember more than “oh say can you…?” Nobody will. Such is the case with ruins, ancient histories, blurry faces everywhere smeared by the fists of their conquerors.
Before today ends, statues will be plucked from their high places all over the country; this should be the first sign, but Whiteness will not see itself in this sure demise. They will learn.
There will be no flag, anymore.
Many will dream of bald eagles eaten by crows; pecked to death by crows. A woman will tell of seeing a crow pulling all the feathers from a dead bald eagle. None will remember this time, but the crows will. And so they will eat the grudge for our sakes.
america will be done and they will know it when the statue of liberty sits down to wash her face in the Hudson; her skin will be black. Your grandmothers will weep.
This poem originally appeared in Poor Claudia