We’d nearly finished dinner when
the world ended. We saw the sky
flush orange, outside the blinds; then
a smell of burning. Missy cried,
the way small children do, surprised
by every change. We grownups waited,
reserving judgment. Seconds later
the angel appeared, with a terrible face,
wingless. We watched him walk
to the chipped piano. Not afraid—
we had no time to feel afraid—
just smelling the burnt smell outside,
while he stretched out one burning finger.
a tinny, tinkling Chopsticks,
The plinking died.
the walls shivered, and a million little cracks
ran down to kiss the floor.
We felt the hairs on our necks
prickle. And then we felt our house
crumble and leap up:
a wall of fire.
Astonishment (there was just time).
Our skin charred and then melted:
the smell was foul,
unendurable, until it ended.
and watched the angel (as solid
shining as before) step up the sky
and disappear. And Missy cried.