On the Day the Universe Ends
for Frances R. Vasquez
On the day the universe ends
the sky shuts down, inundated
by pneumonia's lung-borne flood,
for no ark drifts to shore.
What songs the sparrows improvise
from branches to bowed power lines
go unsung, unplugged,
for no one monitors their jagged notes.
All the boys in grass-stained jeans
ladder down from tree houses,
chilled from the night's starless elms,
for the cold rungs give out like breath.
And the girls? The girls know
what their ancestors knew, baptized
over the cistern's veined, mortal waters
on the day the universe ends.