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you kept your eyes closed through the apocalypse, eyes closed and head down from the moment the sky went red. the sound, whipped to frenzy by horsemen, slipped into ears to dance before eyes, imagination sparked by fear married to uncertainty. the wind died down after a day yet still you hid for three. when you moved again it was only to fall, weakened from voluntary exile-in-place. rolling onto your back, lips parched by solitude, memory of speech forgotten, survival became a prayer. your eyes cracked open the roof was cracked wide cloud-suited sky leaked in. the air glittered with falling ashes, remnants of people and places given at last the freedom of flight.
Today in class while the professor lectured on slides, I sat watching the dust swirl around in the darkness in front of me, catching the shafts of light sliding just under the window-blinds. They'd swirl around like single-celled organisms in a primordial sea, sometimes appearing to consume or flee from one another - and as they'd swirl they'd pass through the light shafts and flicker, popping like flashbulbs of the papparazzi. Twinkling like stars in a starscape hurtling towards me in the galaxy of the darkened classroom.
I liked how it looked at once like a galaxy of stars and simultaneously a microscopic slide of the chaotic, darwinian world of single-celled life. The entire span of the cosmos, from smallest to largest, all of evolution, the history of time, all in a scattering of dust in the darkness.