Rebecca Bratten Weiss

This is Not the Zombie Apocalypse

Ever have one of those days when you’re imagining
the resurrection, and no one’s bodies are glorified at
all? The slightly older ones have it best, pared to
white bone, but not too old, not mossy yet. Propped
like an art installation, rattling just a bit, but still ready
for their close-up, so deliciously angular, darling.
The much older ones come carrying their own limbs,
sometimes their own heads, grinning in embarrassment.
On the newer ones, bits of skin hang like frayed denim.
The worm that was eating at a heart tucks in eagerly
because now that it’s time for resurrection, this might
be its last meal. 

In spite of what you see, this is not, I repeat, NOT,
the Zombie Apocalypse, because everyone is too
aware. Also, each one of them, I mean us, carries
their own soul. You never know what form a soul
will take, so it’s a treat. This one carries hers at
the end of a pink ribbon looped over one fragile
wrist. Pretty, she murmurs. So pretty. Another has
a fish, flicking silvery within the fishbowl of her
ribs. It tickles, so she laughs. Sometimes it’s hard
to tell whether the industrious maggots eating away
at the gut are real maggots or actually souls. It’s also
hard to tell whether this is a good thing or not. 

In the old epics, in the underworld, you always
meet one you knew. Three times you try to embrace,
and each time you hold only air. It always seems so
tragic, so poignant. All they want is to touch the
body of the other, one last time. Well, now you can do
that. You can touch him till his bones creak. You can
touch him til he comes to pieces in your arms.