And Then the Sun Went Out

by Tom Bajoras

I was enjoying the silence
of your hand in mine
until the silence was swallowed
by the words you said.

And then the sun went out.

At first the night was just like night,
except all over the world.
There were no news bulletins, no sirens,
no riots, no tears.
But we both knew within a week
the cold would come,
and plants would begin to die,
and then the animals,
and eventually you and I
and every living thing except
some microbes clinging to a volcanic
lifeline at the bottom of the ocean.

It was not like an eclipse known years in advance
so you can go to a party and count down to totality.
It was more like the bomb that drops from the sky,
or the stray bullet meant for someone else’s heart.

I just stared back into your eyes and let the silence speak for itself.
Then we walked slowly back to our car and drove away
toward where the sun, if there were one, would have been setting.