Written by Thanisha Chowdhury
Art by Joanne Francis

i have always known it would end in burning. 

quiet. you have never known anything worth more than dirt. 

look at you, slave to the melded once more. metal has always been the best conductor of heat. 

and you the best conductor of frost. how much longer have we remaining?

as long as it takes for screens to flicker with a blaze. you know well we only matter from a distance, through a television or computer.

how biting your words are. the children will come for us. 

for rescue or harvest?

hope is no disease, stop pretending so. is it day? the sky is blackening.

the sun, she gleams as bright as she can through the dark. 

i think i hear a wailing.

ah, the sirens. let’s see how much salvation they will spit. funny now, how we, of the earth, decades old, buy mercy from skin and teeth.

can’t you see? we are them, they are us. nature will recycle us into hands and fingers and eyes, laughter and prayer. and yes, maybe you are right. maybe we will use them to kill more of us. but maybe we will use them to nurture life from the earth. we are all one living, breathing thing. 

you and your rosen heart. 

brother, i think this is the end.

tears will not put out our flames. guilt or not, we will die. 

and flame or not, they will mourn us.