Sunset Before the Apocalypse

I see it as the most natural thing in the summer
find a hazy orb that floats in that thickness
until it gets too heavy and it slides away from us

before that happens, there’s still time
to catch the lake breeze
notice kids making a future home in the sand

the laughs surrounding barbecues and the sizzles
of burgers make innocence climb up
from the depths of sage and warm words with friends

we know it will be bad when we wake up tomorrow
the sky will already have melted away
our civilizations scrubbed clean by smog and smoke

what do we have to breathe for now
when every single memory is buried
and silence is all we have left

Kevin A. Risner (he/him) is the author of Do Us a Favor (Variant Literature, 2021) and You Thought This Was Just Gonna Be About Cleveland, Didn’t You  (Ghost City Press, 2022). His work has recently been published or is  forthcoming from 50-Word Stories, Pinhole Poetry, The Daily Drunk Mag,  Midway Journal, antonym, Pilgrimage Magazine, and more.

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