Too old to turn back,
by Robert Rorabeck
The teenage army disbanded in the North;
Many starved, though there was cannibalism,
And after all their eyes could not move,
To speak as they should,
To rest periodically under the windows of flesh.
The sky was beautiful.
Yes it was,
And there were white-lung tents sent up in
The absolute tundra,
Breathing from the winds’ manipulations
Vendors put on displays for free,
Upon the azure fields overlooking the military highway,
But no one bought anything
Which could not be eaten,
And people found there was no money
To buy food,
And loves wished to rekindle something,
But they couldn’t go off to find where their other was,
Who was lost some ways out looking for them:
As their teeth ate their lips,
Everyone was sure they saw something out there,
Something coming closer,
Whose needs they could already feel
Taking away the feeling of their extremities.
At the last, they were too tired to move,
To throw the bones in ciphering,
Crowded in invalidations of the senses,
They would not even cry, for that had been
Thrown out as useless some years ago.
In their end, all they had was themselves,
The last flames leaping in the petrified bodies,
And then, upon dusk, when the curtain came
Down like the sleet storm on a hostile planet
Alien to human form,
Isolated in beauty, the new adults
Went to bed in morbid slumber,
Never to wake upon themselves again.