The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!



When We Are Gone


Mike Finley

When we are gone and the plates of the earth
have shrugged,
and the cupboards rattle and the rafters sift,
and the groaning household teeters on the brink
and the song of consciousness decays,
what calendar will cordone off its days?

When we are gone and the rub of reaching fills the world,
and root and branch and tongue and paw
all strain as one for what is just beyond,
sugar, sunshine, water, meat,
and the hummingbird suspended in the air,
what mind, what glance encapsulates it there?

When we are gone and the dust of our doing has flown
and there are no longer angels and no men,
And our home and our skin and our story of love
give way to hozannas of flies,
what spectators swarm the empty choir,
sockets twitching with surmise?

When we are gone and meaning loses meaning
though your molecules and my molecules
are plucked apart and strewn
across this raw unwitnessable scene
they are better for that blink of time,
forgotten in the giddy sprawl of green.



Motivation: A rhymed poem about a world without people

Bio: Mike Finley is a Pushcart awardee who writes for a living in St. Paul. His most recent project is ZOMBIE GIRL, a graphic novel, the proceeds of which go to anti-suicide work in the Twin Cities. More info and samples are at

Email TSJ: Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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