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observations made during the final hours

by Joshua Scammell

soot on the boot and it’s normal to say you hate / it here. But the world is not so dry as that, and  / even if you have to dig up a “can of peach / es” to drink it, the moisture still exists, and if / you listen carefully enough, you can drink it / off the wind directly, in the form of birdsongs / or a simple breath which begins and ends with a / prayer, and when you share your thoughts on the tip of / your tongue, when you write a draft on the lip of the / wind, time will rewrite it, just how your higher self / wanted. a pilgrimage over parched earth, you lick / your cracked lips. and look! every human still living / is here, you’re all together, murmuring a fruit / ful debate around a kerosene fire, and / you learn so much from the playful talk, and the words / are not very important, and they never have / been. what matters is the moisture! so you pass a / round a gilded goblet; red solo cup, and some / one pokes the fire with a stick, and you do some / sort of ritual that no one quite understands, / but no one wants to point out that you’ve just invent / ed this ritual on the spot, but you didn’t / do the ritual, the ritual never hap / pened, you just got tired of talking, and listened / together to the moisture spraying up from the / distant pier, where sleepy fishermen bring back their / empty rods from the sea, and they don’t mind that they’re / not eating tonight because it’s not them who dies / of hunger, it’s someone else, and it feels fairly / good to die of hunger, if you get yourself in / the right mindset. and even though they try really / hard to avoid it, when it cannot be avoid / ed, it’s better to accept it. well, that’s them, and / this is you. your eyelids crack open, shedding sand. / most of the people have died by this point. the air / is so dry that you think you’ll die of dehydra / tion before hunger, and you decide not to drink / your own pee. instead, you use your last bit of en / ergy to perform an ancient rite, which is in / fact brand new, and you have no idea how time / circles back on itself, and you, the last man, call / yourself adam, and you’re so far away from your / eve. heh, the pain of feeling yourself turn into / a rock begins to set in, and as your marrow / becomes a bone, you know god, and feel the buzzing / sensation spill down the top of your head, and / a warm hand touches you upon the spine right in / that spot where you carry all your shame and your wor / ry and the stress of the body, and the spirit, / and the mind, and heh, you were never quite comfort / able in life, were you? always thinking your pos / ture was slightly wrong and you were holding your face / in a bad way. but all doubts vanish so ver / y quickly, quicker than rain, which comes down in a / flood all at once, and wipes away the tears of the / earth, that weeping mother, blessing up all that scar / tissue you left behind, and /—stars shine! the oneness with god sets in for all, a / crowd of clapping ancestors, it’s over! a bath, / a shower, a soup that has no name, and there’s so / many of us, and also just one. heh, and it chang / es so fast, the visitors from outside your house / allow themselves to intrude upon you. but their / intentions are so good that you barely notice. / they whisper little messages, little bubbles / of moisture to find in the morning, when you wake / up from this dream. you’ll have no idea how to / write it down. but you’ll remember the moisture, a / little fibrous bubble of death, and some days you / drink it, and other days you die of thirst with moi /sture there. “another day, another apocalypse.

About the Author

Joshua Scammell was born in Ottawa, Ontario. Following 6 years studying reading and writing at Carleton University, Joshua moved to Los Angeles, California, to refine his reading and writing skills at USC. Joshua now lives in Vancouver, British Colombia, where he does as much reading and writing as God(s) allow(s).

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