Visruth Srimath Kandali | Art by Allison Lin

A bird sings, an eon passes
Flowers wake, civilizations wilt
Cities’ melodies sing for the last time
Oceans rise, acidic and sparkling
TVs flicker then sigh collectively
The world’s color slowly seeps away,
                                            leaving behind

Earth inhales and atmosphere dissipates
Seconds hand ticks once more
The world ended but a moment prior
(an age ago a century yet to arrive.)
The clock ticks blisteringly slow,
An exercise in contradiction within an incongruous world—
Who defines a second? So abstract, unknowable

Life unfolds, emerging from its shell—a flower blooming
I watch it; a seed maturing into its full splendor
I gaze, enamored even as it passes away
As petals drift silently, lonely to the ground
As color, once proudly flaunted, slips into the void

A moment ago, a year in the future
Equidistant from now, irreverent and irrelevant
A coy glance at a clock, a book, the clock once more
In a second an hour has passed
Compressed into a jiffy, days passing before popcorn finishes popping
A solitary moment of time, marking both the end and the beginning
Of life, the universe, and everything