a hole at the end of the world
 
 
smoke in the distance grows thicker/blacker/a base level consummation of everything in the path/Consummation or Consumption/doesn't matter anymore/its gonna come ‘round soon/come ‘round and get us  
 
i wanted to see home again/talk to my family/tell mom i’m sorry/mom i’m sorry/i won’t do it again/now or never/i wish these fucks would stop screaming/all they do is hoot and scream/always nonsense/not one has ever said a sensible thing in their entire lives/when i think of consummation i think of sex/everyone will quiet down once they understand the gravity/there won’t be anything more to say
 
how many days since the officers stopped coming/how long since they brought us food/I remember pain/hollow and constant in my stomach/felt like the remnants of a hard punch/a bruised inner cavity/then it went away/just stopped
 
now it has returned/so hungry/STOP beating on the fucking doors/die already if that’s what your gonna do/i want to eat a cockroach right now/i’d take my time with the little guy/stalk him like a hunter/careful not to squish him/i want the guts to burst on my tongue/not the floor/i wanna pick off his squirmy legs and chew till there's nothing left/one at a time/dissect him bit by bit/savor him for as long as i can
 
are they still pounding on the doors or is that my head/the sound matches my heart/does food fuel the heart or does water or does both or does god or does blood or does/what else am i lacking/character/moral standards/abstract nonsense/stop fucking screaming/STOP STOP STOP
 
i ate my stories page by page/folded and balled and ripped/they tasted like paper/best i ever had/knew they'd be good for something one day/knew I wasn't wasting my time
 
water is mostly gone from the toilet/but the lights are still on/and at least they aren't beating on the doors anymore/now they only cry and wail/should have written about a thick juicy hamburger patty on a wheat bun/the kind with some little oats on top/and all the sauces/sauces galore/sauces of every color and tangy flavor/and pickles/and cheese/so many cheeses/sharp cheddar and pepper jack and muenster and bree and bacon/big strips of bacon that stick out of the bun in pork grid patterns/some jalapeņos/tiny pieces of ham/baklava on the side/an entire pan/if i close my eyes real tight maybe this page will taste like
 
where is my father/my father should have come to save me/our fathers should be our heroes/until we grow up/until we are lying stock still on a prison bunk and the fires outside are pushing smoke in the window and the guy below is laughing like a hyena between bites of his own fingers and chunks of palm and then we sort of realize heroes don't exist/they never have/just pretty pictures we tried to draw in an ugly world
 
the bloods don't yell for soup in their high pitched bitch call/the aryans stopped hating niggers/the crips stopped walking and dancing and making silly hand signals and saying the word folk/the pedophiles don't think of children anymore/they only think of their insides halting in final catastrophic failure/then again/maybe they do think of children/probably of eating them
 
the generators stopped humming a while ago/now there is no light/i hear the roar outside/a cacophony of violence/explosions/the crackling of grass ablaze/will these cement blocks eventually burn/or will they act as an oven and cook me alive/i am well on my way to finding out/i wanna sleep/but i’ve run out of paper and the hollow knocking in my stomach/steady clock tick/but i don't need my biology to tell me what time it is/i have known since the big hand struck over and the little hit done/but still tick tock tick/the room won’t let me die/keeping me alive like a life support system with no plug to pull/i ate my parole papers/they tasted like freedom
 
i’m starting to question the whole thing like maybe this is one of those deals that isn't happening even though it seems like it is/maybe it only seems like it so i will think it really is but in reality it isn't at all/just me playing tricks on myself again/so hot/tick tock tick/and if this is just me thinking it is what it is even if it isn't how do i make it stop seeming like it is and make it seem like something it is not/or maybe it seems like what it is not trying to disguise whatever it is by pretending to be what it is so i will start to question whether it is what it is and run it all around in circles in my head/tell me it isn't what it is/tell me it’s a beginning wearing a mask that looks like the end  
 
 I don't want to know if heaven is real/heaven scares me/angels seem like monsters/nothing that looks human should have wings/i ate some of the bible/ezekiel and genesis/they tasted like wrath/god doesn't seem natural/more like a film director that got it wrong/won’t get it right despite winning oscars year after year/best screenplay/best cinematography/best actors in supporting and lead roles/but never best director/my heart sounds like a pendulum/i ate the script/it tasted false/maybe he needs a new directors chair/maybe that’s the problem/his throne coming apart at the seams
 
if i’m still here when the world starts back up/wake me please/i’m so tired/so hungry/so hot/i wonder if my death certificate will taste like
 
the end


Joseph Rutledge