Closing Time

We Celebrate
The Death
Of all things
Thought heard
A golden horn
Blown, sounding
A proclamation
That the rapture
Is upon us

the self-appointed
to my left sighed

Dirty bastards
come and get me,
declared the man
at the end of the bar

In a deep breath
I swear I could
Smell eternity
For the first time
A tap at my shoulder
Judgement stood, waiting

I turned

Last call, the bartender
shouted, wringing
a filthy bar rag
between trembling hands

I know

The flames
Lick the back
Of my neck
With a whisper
In my ear, smiling
Hands promising
Batting eyes
As a thousand times
The righteous fall
Around me, lights
Once shown bright
Extinguished, bursting
From my eyes

On this day, turns out
No one would be saved


  1. Perfectly crafted story-telling, River. Your writing engages all the senses, making your work come alive to create a vivid picture and a feeling of tension, anticipation and fear. I have to agree with the other comments, I absolutely love the concept of being able to ‘smell eternity for the first time’, and similarly, I love ‘Judgement stood, waiting.’ Superb wordsmithing, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This poem captivates all the senses.

    “In a deep breath
    I swear I could
    Smell eternity
    For the first time
    A tap at my shoulder
    Judgement stood, waiting”

    Those lines shiver skin and bone!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I echo the above compliments. I’m curious about the picture. It brings all kinds of story ideas to mind. Did the picture inspire you? Did you write and then look for an accompanying picture? Which came first? And where did the picture come from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always write first and then scour public domain sites like pixabay or unsplash and try to find a photo that will compliment the poem. This particular photo isn’t what I originally was looking for, but I feel it works.

      I’ve tried writing using a photograph or other artistic piece as a prompt but it has never worked for me. Thank you for reading.


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