Gary and Meg
by Kayla Eby
A shrunken old man and
a shrunken old woman lean
across the rotted porch rail
into dazzling early light
gently washing their faces.
Gary watches translucent serpents
curl from the cherry-end of his cigarette.
He breaths in the poison,
and slowly, he breathes it out,
holding cheerfully, firmly,
between his teeth, annihilation.
Meg worries these are the last days.
First COVID spawns, wiping out mankind
next Jesus will appear leading troops of angels.
She takes the cigarette from Gary,
and crushes the smouldering flame
against the damp rotten wood,
frightened by visions
of the great wine press
Gary looks at the sun winking charismatically
through the dark trees on the ridge.
If only the Son would return with glory and justice
and the power of resurrection
destroying and restoring
this stripped and manipulated earth.
Meg throws the butt
of the cigarette away
and it falls flipping
through a chasm of air
till contact with
Then Gary leads the way inside
to tea and toast and a comfortable book
to be read to the hum of the refrigerator,
while Meg crochets socks in red.
That they would live today yet
and breathe again tomorrow.
Kayla Eby is a young woman actively learning how to sift through the flak of life to find the truth waiting in front of her nose.
Photography by Kenneth Godoy