But I won’t quit my job
I’d like to finish as I started
One last kid boosted into the air
One last round of applause
One last contract kept.
Nineteen days to the end of the world
Six fewer I could have spent with you
You’ve spent our marriage understanding
What’s one week more or less?
I’ll remember to Skype, to text, to call
When the bottom drops out, when I’m ripped apart
Pretending things are whole, I’ll remember
You’re the one I’m supposed to tell, the one
Who truly wants to know.
Seventeen days to the end of the world
The plane descending through clouds
The desert resolving into lights, highways, a taxi
At the baggage claim
Where our meetings and partings blur into each other
Your face shining in the mass of color
Your hand reaching for the trolley, covering mine.
Twelve days to the end of the world
Return to the beach we called the end of the world
Three flights and a tuk-tuk to find blank yellow sand
Not yet crowded or ruined—
At the tideline, Coke bottles and beer cans say it’s coming.
I still carry out my litter, even now.
Five days to the end of the world
We splay on each other, on the couch
Watch bad movies—why not? Do we
Really believe?—order in, eat Thai
And sushi and biryani (save the clay pot),
Tip the moped driver, avoid the horizon.
Today is the end of the world
And I am with you whether it is or not
Perhaps we’ll be surprised at midnight,
Or dawn, or disappointed we’re still here,
The letdown after the party. Either way,
We’ll sigh, and lace our fingers together
Until the end.
Ten days until I see my husband again.