a monk sits alone in a cellar
on the sixth floor of a castle.
it is the end of the world,
and he writes by the light
of a fish’s phosphorescent scales.
what will he tell of the world
which has just ended? his back
aches beneath the weight
of the undescribed. so much will be
unsaid in the treasured annals
of the dead, but still he says
what must be said. he writes
of flowers and their evanescent splendor,
the pale pink of petals in spring light.
the ballpoint glides from edge to edge
of the crumpled paper as he tells
of the moon in its fluid phases,
of cake with thick whipped frosting,
people passing each other on their commute
through crumbling streets, and he muses
in wonder at how so much sustained the wreckage,
looking out the broken window, a shard of glass falling
far below. he still feels camaraderie
with everything visible, all across the mangled landscape.
Kenneth West is a writer from Monroe, Louisiana. He can be found on Twitter @gildedchalice