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The End of the Fucking World

Mushroom cloud at the end of the world.

the end of the fucking world came again in May that year,
nine minutes and twenty nine seconds
stretched to hours, broke to days, forced into months.
and it sounded the same way the end of the world always sounds
and it looked the same way the end of the world has always looked
and for a moment it felt like the end of the world is supposed to feel,
and the pessimists missed it again, not knowing that
the end of the world looks like fire and steel and muscle,
not tenured talk and panels and academic immunity and nihilism.
and the optimists and the humanists missed it too, the end of the world,
spending too much time and energy and magic
trying to convince evil of itself, trying to convince evil of goodness,
trying to convince the prison wardens in the power of love,
trying to convince the prison guards in the power of the vote,
trying to convince prisoners in the power of patience
instead of telling patience to move the fuck out of the way.
others puffed themselves into obscurity, drank themselves anxious,
fucked themselves numb, prayed themselves away from the view of the fire.
some scribbled books about “looting” and “primitive accumulation”
and transubstantiation and race and transmogrification
and criticism and critique of the criticism and
responses to the critique of the criticism
for jobs in the Criticism-Industrial-Complex
and hefty checks from the Conversation-Industrial-Complex.
others thinkpiece’d the end of the world into a million pieces
filling pages of internet with Black death,
while some were busy pouring tear gas solution
in our siblings eyes and passing community inhalers
through thick tearful gas clouds and lost eyesight from rubber bullets
and forgot the ability to tell if the blood on their chin was from
a pig’s baton or if they coughed it up or if it didn’t belong to them at all
or if it got onto them when they were kettled and snatched up
in the crowd while running back to base to re-organize.
i knew it was the end of the fucking world when we heard more from
those that spoke about bricks but never built a home, never threw one,
who talked about r/evolution but never held a gun or a hand,
who never had to rob peter to pay paul or set fires to feel warmth,
than those who know what it means to look a cub in the eye and shout “alhamdulilah!”
because you know it will one day become a lion, or a panther,
and that this beast could very well bite off your hand too
if you weren’t ready and careful.
when everywhere we turned we heard from those peddling freedom dreams
and not those who had already seen the world end a few times
and suffered because of it, i knew it was time for
The end of the fucking world


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Devyn Springer is a cultural worker, community organizer, and independent researcher. They are a member of the Walter Rodney Foundation, and host of the Groundings podcast.

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