The End Times Café

Remember when I snapped at the sight
of a sparrow? That plain bit of nature
reminding me I can’t grow tomatoes
or live without a microwave.

I worry about the Strait of Hormuz.
Will there be gas for the trucks
that bring us
our cool ranch Doritos?

What about those coffins
and swing-sets on TV?
Keeping children alive for the feast
of dark energies.

I can’t build a nest or find any worms.
I can’t feed my young without taking
the mark of the beast.

It just might be true there are aliens
running the show. I asked if you’d heard
of Reptilians, and you started flicking your
tongue, flapping your ears.

That’s when I felt human again, sitting
at brunch with a gila monster. The waitress
came and poured some more raspberry tea.

Laurie Barton is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Best of the Net finalist. In 2008 she won the New Southerner Literary Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in Juked, Glass, Prick of the Spindle, Kaua’i Backstory and The Rambler.


“The End Times Café” is a Best of the Net 2013 finalist, selected by A.E. Stallings. Congratulations to Laurie Barton!