09/22/2021

Mik Grantham ~ At the End of the World

I first came here in late August. Not used to the heat. I sat alone in an air-con­di­tioned bar drink­ing High Life, hop­ing to make a new friend, hop­ing some­one would catch my eye. I flirt­ed with a stranger. Little crin­kles formed around his eyes when he asked:

Do you live lake­side or riverside? 

Downriver.

Have you been to the End of the World? 

Take me, I said.

We walked the lev­ee in the 9th Ward until we came to a small beach. I took my shoes off and dipped my toes in the riv­er. He warned me I could get a rash stick­ing my bare feet in the Mississippi like that, but I didn’t care. I need­ed to feel the water on my skin. A big, fat moon hung above us in the sky and we could smell the fuel com­ing from the car­go ships pass­ing along the riv­er. I don’t remem­ber the stranger’s name any­more. Did it start with a ‘B’? It was a long time ago and that bar’s closed now. One thou­sand mos­qui­tos sam­pled my blood and lat­er that night, when I undressed for him, my body was cov­ered in swollen pink hills.

~

Foggy morn­ings rid­ing my bicy­cle from the Mission District to SOMA to serve cap­puc­ci­nos and americano’s to the techies who worked at Twitter head­quar­ters on Market Street. Waiting around for the MUNI bus to show up, if it did at all. And that time I saw a lady sit­ting in our dive bar wear­ing Google Glass get punched in the face. It felt like a dis­tant mem­o­ry. An inco­her­ent dream. I want­ed to forget.

I wasn’t liv­ing in New Orleans for very long when I googled:

Local Realtors Near Me

~

My favorite time of year in New Orleans is the sum­mer­time, June to Halloween. People think I’m crazy when I tell them this. I don’t mind crazy, call me what­ev­er. I love the heat, the after­noon thun­der­storms. I love the feel of the city after a hard rain. Earthy. Alive. The slick pave­ment. I’m Dorothy enter­ing tech­ni­col­or as I walk my dogs to the lev­ee post thun­der­storm. This time of year the city feels inti­mate. Mostly locals. This time of year, the tourists have stopped flood­ing the streets, which for us in the ser­vice indus­try means less mon­ey but also less bull­shit. This time of year I sweat out all of the bad deci­sions I made during:

November, December, January, February, March, April, May

 ~

A few sum­mers ago, I left the New Orleans heat to take care of my grand­moth­er. I called her Ema. I was her first grand­child and when I was born she told my mom she was too young to be called ‘bub­bie.’ My mom told me she par­tied a lot in the 1970s and she was pay­ing for all of it now. She was going to die soon, and I was going to California to be there with her. She had a hus­band, my step-grand­fa­ther. He wouldn’t look at her. I was angry with him about this. He wouldn’t go into her room where she lay in a hos­pice bed all day wait­ing for the rest of her body to give up like her lungs already had. The whole time I was there she kept ask­ing me:

Does my hus­band already have a new girl­friend? I’m bare­ly even dead yet.
            I laughed. He didn’t have a new girl­friend. He was always run­ning an errand, walk­ing his dogs, or doing some­thing on the com­put­er. He made sure to always be any­where else, any­where but the room. I’d offer to help him and he’d refuse. What’s the point of hav­ing a hus­band if he won’t love on you when you’re dying?

~

Summer is com­ing to a close. It’s October, but it’s still reach­ing the high eight­ies every day. We are near­ing the end of hur­ri­cane sea­son. On Sunday, some­one posts a pic­ture on social media of a big storm head­ing for New Orleans. They’re call­ing this one Zeta. The cap­tion says:

Please Cancel My Subscription to the Hurricane of the Month Club

~

There was a time when water used to scare me. I bought this house ten years ago. It’s in the Lower 9th Ward, a few blocks from the lev­ee in a neigh­bor­hood called Holy Cross. I liked it because it’s raised 10 feet. Out front, there was a man who had the hood of his truck popped up and looked like he was work­ing on the engine. Some old­er ladies were sit­ting in plas­tic lounge chairs on their porch next door watch­ing him. I intro­duced myself. Told them I was think­ing about buy­ing the house. They nodded:

A lot of young peo­ple from out of town buy­ing hous­es these days. 

I can’t remem­ber if I men­tioned being con­cerned about flood­ing or not, but I must have because the man who was work­ing on his truck chuck­led, closed the hood, and said:

You’re sur­round­ed by water, baby! On the one side you got the riv­er. The oth­er, the lake. Then there are bay­ous, swamps, and canals. 

He’d tossed an oily rag over his shoul­der, pulled a plas­tic water bot­tle from his back pock­et. It made a crin­kling sound when he took a swig. The ladies in the chairs nod­ded, mmh­mm. He went on:

The water is our guide. We use the water to nav­i­gate like a shep­herd uses the stars. Don’t be buy­ing a house in New Orleans if you’re afraid of get­ting a lit­tle wet.

I lat­er learned the man’s name was Darrin. We’re still neigh­bors. He owns the house next to mine and is known as the block’s handy­man. He can fix any­thing, from a leaky faucet to a bust­ed carburetor.

Today when I look at the weath­er map, I don’t pan­ic. This storm is only sup­posed to be a Category 1.  So far this sum­mer we have had a total of six hur­ri­cane misses.

  1. Cristobal
  2. Laura
  3. Marco
  4. Sally
  5. Beta
  6. Delta

We’ve been lucky. I buy some extra dog food, water, and canned fish. Just in case.

~

My friend told me this sto­ry once. Years ago she worked at a bar in the Marigny called Lost Love Lounge, cor­ner of Dauphine and Franklin. One after­noon before her shift, she was sit­ting out­side hav­ing a cof­fee and smok­ing a cig­a­rette when this guy dressed in a slick three piece suit came strolling down the street.

He looked good, she said. Really good. Like so much swag. It was intimidating. 

The man stopped when he saw my friend. Not sur­pris­ing. She’s beau­ti­ful. Men must stop for her often. But then she said the man asked her if she could tell him where Franklin Avenue is. She said she smiled at him, told him he was stand­ing on Franklin Avenue. He looked around. Waved his arms in the air. Shook his head, No, no this can’t be Franklin Avenue. She said yes, yes, and point­ed at the street sign that read Franklin Avenue. The man shook his head again and said:

No. This is not Franklin Avenue, you bagel eat­ing crack­er bitch. 

Then the man dressed in the slick three piece turned on his heels and con­tin­ued to stroll down Franklin Avenue in the mid­dle of the street, cackling.

~

My grand­pa had picked me up from SFO. He heard I was com­ing to California to take care of his sick ex-wife and want­ed to spend alone time with me before I went to her con­do for the week­end. We went out to break­fast at a café on Valencia Street. I ordered huevos rancheros and my grand­pa ordered some sort of hash. We trad­ed plates halfway through our meal.

My grand­moth­er divorced him near­ly fifty years ago and I’d always thought he didn’t care for her. But over luke­warm eggs and burnt cof­fee, he told me about how much he loved her. How they met in Berkeley when Ema was vis­it­ing her cousin. They were only teenagers. They fell for each oth­er fast, got mar­ried as soon as they could. He under­stood she was too young when they set­tled down, had kids. She didn’t want to be a house­wife. She want­ed out and got out.

He had asked me about my love life. I didn’t tell him about the guy who sent me a text before my plane took off:

Everyone’s grand­ma dies. You need to buck up. 

My grand­pa told me I should start think­ing about get­ting mar­ried. I should stop being so afraid to commit.

I asked the serv­er for our bill.

~

I wake up Wednesday morn­ing and look at the weath­er map again. For the past few days it’s been unclear if Hurricane Zeta is actu­al­ly going to pass through New Orleans, but now I see it is com­ing straight for us and will hit in the ear­ly evening. There are two texts on my phone. One from my friend:

Are you ready for Hurricane Catherine Zeta?

The oth­er from NOLAReady:

Zeta now expect­ed to be a Cat 2 at land­fall, which means stronger, dam­ag­ing winds. Finish prep this morn­ing & be shel­tered by 2pm.

There are memes on the inter­net of Catherine Zeta Jones dressed as a 1920’s flap­per girl from the movie Chicago slid­ing into New Orleans. I go out­side and check on my neigh­bors to make sure they don’t need any last minute things before the storm comes. They all say the same thing:

We’re alright. It’s just water, my baby. 

I don’t know what I could offer them any­way. Sometimes I bring them fresh baked cook­ies or pas­ta, but I don’t have those things right now.

Darrin’s out on his porch with a tool belt strapped to his hip set­ting up a lad­der. I wave and walk over to see if he wants a hand. He shakes his head, no, tells me he’s good.

You wor­ried about this one? I ask.

Naw, we’ll be alright. Darrin starts to climb the ladder.

I guess we’re lucky to be so close to the lev­ee. We’re on highground. 

There is an awk­ward silence between us. He looks like he is about to clean his gut­ters. I’ve inter­rupt­ed him. I leave Darrin’s porch and head back up the stairs to my house. Then he says:

This city was built in the shape of a cres­cent, along the sharp cur­va­ture of the Mississippi. It took years for set­tlers to fig­ure out how to drain the swamps so they could fur­ther expand the city. 

Another neigh­bor from down the street rides by on a bicy­cle and hollers at Darrin. Two jugs of water sit in his bas­ket. We both wave, yell:

How you doing?

Alright! The neigh­bor says over his shoul­der before he dis­ap­pears around the cor­ner onto Flood Street.

Darrin pulls some rub­ber gloves from his back pock­et and slides them on.

New Orleans has been sink­ing ever since. Ever since. It’s only a mat­ter of time ‘till we’re all under water. Better grow us some gills. Hope I’m gone by then. 

He doesn’t look at me, he’s focused on the gut­ters. I mum­ble, me too, before going back inside my house.

I eat din­ner stand­ing over the sink. Canned smoked Mackerel soaked in olive oil with a baguette. I tear off lit­tle pieces of bread at a time, dip it in the can, drench it in oil, using it as a uten­sil to eat the fish. Think about the colonists who built the embank­ments along the riv­er and dug the drainage ditch­es. A sink­ing New Orleans. One day we will be an under­wa­ter king­dom. I imag­ine we will look exact­ly like Atlantis, but rows of shot­gun hous­es instead of castles.

The salti­ness of the mack­er­el only makes me hun­gri­er. I could open anoth­er can of fish. There is smoked Rainbow Trout with lemon, Sardines, wild Kippers, and Yellowtail in the pantry. But I shouldn’t eat all my snacks before the storm even hits. I put the baguette back into it’s paper bag and set it on top of the fridge, throw the emp­ty Mackerel can into the trash.

An hour goes by and it starts rain­ing hard. Water gath­ers in the front room like it always does when it pours. I take all the tow­els in the house and lie them under all the win­dows and the front door. One of my dogs paces, howl­ing. The oth­er one hidesun­der the blan­kets in my bed. From the win­dow above my desk, I see sid­ing fly off the house next door.

I sit in a bub­ble bath, close my eyes, pre­tend I have gills. When we turn into an under­wa­ter city will some­one can me? How would they pre­pare me? Olive oil or water? Who will eat me with a baguette? Or would they spread me on a fan­cy crack­er? One of those ones with rose­mary and raisins. I hate those. A loud crack of thun­der shakes the whole house. The pow­er cuts out.

~

When my grand­pa and I arrived at Ema’s con­do, my step-grand­fa­ther was wait­ing for us on the patio with his two small, white, fluffy dogs. He seemed too hap­py for some­one whose wife was going to be dead soon. He wore kha­ki shorts that showed off his tanned legs. He’s one of those old guys who still has toned calves. My grand­pa has for­ev­er worn a lapis lazuli and sil­ver pinky ring and his shirts are always slight­ly unbut­toned, reveal­ing a for­est of gray chest hair and a gold chain with a scor­pi­on charm. I got on my knees and let the dogs sniff and give me kiss­es for a moment while the two old men shook hands. When I rose, the big­ger dog, a Shih Tzu, ran back inside the con­do, but the oth­er one, which looked like a stuffed toy you could fish out of a claw vend­ing machine, cried and barked at me.

Don’t mind Teddy. He just needs a lot of atten­tion, my step-grand­fa­ther said.

I picked up Teddy, cra­dled him like he was a baby, and fol­lowed the men inside.

The room had light gray­ish blue walls, a cou­ple of match­ing pine dressers. On top of one of them sat a pho­to of mid­dle-aged Ema and her hus­band at the cour­t­house on the day they were mar­ried. In the pho­to she wore a white skirt suit. She looked pro­fes­sion­al or like a politi­cian. A nurse in blue scrubs sat in a chair next to Ema read­ing a mag­a­zine. As soon as we entered the room she ran over to me, wrapped her arms around my body, squeezed Teddy and I as if we were her own family.

You must be the grand­daugh­ter. She leaned back to look at me and smiled, We are so hap­py you’re here. 

Behind her was the hos­pice bed and in it lay Ema and the oth­er dog. There was also a big tank next to it that looked like scu­ba div­ing gear. I don’t know what it’s like to have lung can­cer, but I read on WebMD that it can feel as though you’ve just swam 100 miles, always out of breath.

I thought about the waterbed Ema used to have back when she was a sin­gle lady. I loved sleep­ing in that bed. I was float­ing in the ocean. I was a mer­maid. This thing though, looked like an adjustable bed from an infomer­cial. Mattress Genie. I used to fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV and wake up to a loud enthu­si­as­tic male voice saying:

Just can’t get com­fort­able in that flat bed? Too bad adjustable beds cost thou­sands. But wait! Now you can make any mat­tress adjustable with­out spend­ing thou­sands with the amaz­ing Mattress Genie! You’ll be so com­fort­able you’ll nev­er want to leave!

For a few min­utes, I’d watch clips of peo­ple with syn­thet­ic grins as they pressed but­tons on a remote con­troller that moved the mat­tress up and down before wrap­ping my fleece blan­ket around myself and going back to my reg­u­lar, flat bed.

Ema didn’t look like the peo­ple in the infomer­cial and I was shocked to see how small she had become. This woman who had such chutz­pah could bare­ly open her eyes when we came into the room. She couldn’t leave the bed even if she want­ed to. My grand­pa sat in a chair next to her. She whis­pered his name. He took her hand and said her name back.

She kicked every­body out of the room, even the nurse, so she could be alone with my grand­pa. I went to look at the book­shelf down­stairs and found her old copy of Hannibal by Thomas Harris. This book was once left on the night­stand next to the waterbed. It had ter­ri­fied me when I was lit­tle. I took it to the couch and tried to read.

Clarice Starling. Quantico. FBI. Special Agent.

I’d already seen the movie by that point. I closed the book, couldn’t focus. On his way out, my grand­pa kissed me on the top of my head like I was a lit­tle girl and slipped me a twenty.

~

The first year I owned my house a big storm hit New Orleans. I didn’t think a house raised 10 feet could flood. I quick­ly learned that when it’s rain­ing side­ways, water will find its way inside. By the time the storm was over, there was half an inch pool­ing on the porch and by the front door.

Later I told Darrin and he said:

You need to get your­self a water vac. I have a water vac. My water vac is so good it could suck up the whole Mississippi if I want­ed it to. Get your­self a water vac. 

Now, when­ev­er it rains Darrin asks me if I’ve got­ten myself a water vac yet.

Zeta’s eye pass­es direct­ly over the Lower 9th ward and for a moment the wind sub­sides and the rain stops.

The sun sets and the sky is a dark red­dish pur­ple. The old hip­pies across the street are calm for peo­ple who’ve just had a tree fall on their house. Some win­dow panes on my house shat­tered and one of the storm shut­ters blew off. Darrin is going back and forth between hous­es asking:

Wow! You good? That was crazy! Wow! You good? That was crazy!

Every night, after the moon dis­ap­pears, the riv­er slow­ly pass­es the sun back to the lake. In my dream, the Lower 9th floods and Darrin’s water vac doesn’t work. But it’s okay. We all turn into cobia.

In the morn­ing, I still don’t have pow­er. It’s about twen­ty degrees cool­er. Fall has offi­cial­ly arrived in New Orleans, right on time, only a few days before Halloween. Darrin gets every­one togeth­er to help the old hip­pies remove the debris from the fall­en tree and set it out on the curb to be tak­en away by clean-up crews. I call Service Glass Repair and make a trip to the hard­ware store for fire­wood, ice, and more flash­lights. I’m look­ing for bat­ter­ies when I pass a writ­ten sign that says:

Water Vacuum Sale! 50% Off!

I wan­der around the store search­ing for the dis­count­ed water vacs, but I nev­er find them. At the  check­out, I ask the clerk if she knows where they are, if I could buy one. She says:

Water vac­u­ums? What’s a water vacuum? 

~

The hos­pice nurse told me it was impor­tant that Ema move around a lit­tle bit every day. I planned to make her sit at the din­ing table with us for din­ner. I made spaghet­ti with sum­mer squash and a big gar­den sal­ad. Ema didn’t want to leave her bed, but I begged. The nurse, my step-grand­fa­ther, and I car­ried her down the stairs in her wheel­chair. She yelled at us:

YOUUUU MOTHERFUCKERSSSS!!!

Then she laughed, and we laughed. When we all sat at the table, my step-grand­fa­ther com­plained about the food. Ema told him to stop being a meshuga. Later in the kitchen, after we got Ema set back up in her bed, the nurse told me it was a good thing she was still eat­ing and drinking.

I loaded the last dish and grabbed three sin­gle serve plas­tic cups of vanil­la choco­late swirl ice cream. One for me, one for Ema, and one for the nurse.

~

By Halloween, I still don’t have pow­er, and now it’s cold. One of my neigh­bors invites peo­ple over for a fire. I bring a bot­tle of red wine I got for cheap at the cor­ner store and a cou­ple of mason jars. His place is nes­tled right up against the lev­ee. If the riv­er is ever to top the lev­ees in the Lower 9th, his house will be the first one to turn into a fish bowl.

It’s a blue full moon. Friends I haven’t seen since March are here. A guy dressed as a pirate gives me some mush­rooms. He tells me they are strong and to go easy. I eat a cap and a stem and go sit by the fire, wait for the mush­rooms to kick in. Talk to the host about the weath­er. Guitars are passed around. I still don’t feel any­thing so I eat anoth­er cap. A woman plays the song “Summer’s End” by John Prine. Everyone stops talk­ing and lis­tens. I am uncom­fort­able because it seems like every­one is going to cry togeth­er and the mush­room guy is attempt­ing har­monies when the woman sings: Just come on home, come on home, no you don’t have to be alone, just come on home, and I can’t tell if I have to pee or shit. When she fin­ish­es the song, the mush­room pirate guy grabs the gui­tar and I decide that I only have to pee. I sneak off out to the lev­ee where no one can see me.

I walk up the grass and make my way down some rocks, clos­er to the riv­er. The moon reflects off the Mississippi. It’s easy to feel like water is pun­ish­ing New Orleans. Submerging our streets, cars, hous­es. Always get­ting con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed so we can’t drink it. But it was peo­ple who built the lev­ees that broke. And it was peo­ple who decid­ed not to fix the pumps or the fail­ing sewage sys­tem. If the world drowns, it will be our own fault. We can’t blame the water.

There is a burst of laugh­ter in the dis­tance com­ing from the par­ty. I find a good spot and pull down my pants to pee. Something splash­es around in the water. Crawls on the beach. Rolls on its back in the sand. It looks like a lit­tle white fluffy dog.

Hey! I pull up my pants and stum­ble down the rocks toward the puppy.

I whis­tle, cup my hands around my mouth, Hey! Hey! Come here! 

I start to walk toward him and he books it to the top of the levee.

Teddy! Come here! Come back! Teddy! I am climb­ing back up the rocks, try­ing to get to Teddy, but when I reach the top, the mush­room pirate guy is wait­ing for me.

You okay? I heard yelling. 

I brush some sand off my jeans and look around for Teddy, but there is only fog and levee.

Yeah, I’m fine. I just thought I saw some­thing by the water. Did you see a lit­tle dog run up here?

He looked around.

Naw, I didn’t see any­thing. I told you they were intense. You prob­a­bly just saw a nutria. 

For the rest of the night, my eyes dart around my neigh­bors’ yard and back to the lev­ee look­ing for Teddy, but I don’t see him again.

~

Ema and the nurse and I ate the ice cream with flat wood­en spoons. I’d always thought dying peo­ple had some kind of mag­i­cal pow­er, like they could pre­dict the future or cast a spell. I asked Ema if there was any­thing she want­ed to tell me. She said:

I’M DYING

I told her I knew about what she said to my broth­er, how she wished him to have lots of great sex. I was wait­ing for my slice of wis­dom, for her to share what she was going to pass down to me, or at least for her to grant me a dying wish of one thou­sand orgasms. She did not. Instead she said:

You need to find some­one who is going to treat you nice. You don’t want to end up with an ass­hole. And also, find a bra that fits you right.

I stared at her and thought of the text from the guy right before my plane took off. I thought of my step-grand­fa­ther who was nev­er in the room with her. We fin­ished our ice cream. I brought the emp­ty plas­tic cups down­stairs and tossed them in the trash, slammed the lid. I leaned against the counter and crossed my arms. What the hell. Just grant me a hand­ful of mind blow­ing Come to Jesus orgasms that make me scream: Amen! Holy shit! Oh God! Hallelujah! 

Upstairs, the nurse helped her with her breath­ing tube. It looked like she was smok­ing a pipe.

We start­ed to watch a nature doc­u­men­tary on TV about phos­pho­res­cent light at the bot­tom of the ocean. Ema learned­about a light she would nev­er see. But I’d nev­er see it either. Unless I became a scu­ba diver.

The overnight nurse sat snor­ing in a chair next to the bed and I lay on the bed with Ema. She was asleep but I stayed up and watched the whole doc­u­men­tary. Tiny organ­isms liv­ing in com­plete dark­ness, mak­ing light at the bot­tom of the ocean, the dark­est place on the plan­et, the end of the world.

~

The day after Halloween there are Entergy trucks on our street. I hope it means we will get pow­er soon. I learn the storm did more dam­age to my home than I first thought. I may need a new roof. Darrin said he would teach me how to patch it.

I step out­side to go to the hard­ware store and Darrin is in his truck charg­ing his phone. I ask him how he is doing and he says:

You going to get the shingles?

On my way to the hard­ware store right now!

He nods.

And see if they got any water vacs. How many times I’ve told you, you need one of those.

I wave toward the Entergy trucks, tell him I think it’s a good sign we will get the pow­er turned on. He says:

You’ll be alright!

I get into my truck and bring the engine to life. Think about Teddy on the lev­ee. The last night I stayed with Ema, my step-grand­fa­ther for­got to shut the slid­ing glass door all the way and Teddy escaped. We spent the few hours before I had to leave for the air­port look­ing all over the neigh­bor­hood for him, call­ing his name over and over. He was prob­a­bly hit by a car or eat­en by a coy­ote, but I like to pre­tend some kid found him and took him home.

At the hard­ware store, I stare at a wall stocked with bags of dif­fer­ent kinds of shin­gles. Strip, lux­u­ry, dimen­sion­al. I for­get what kind I need and text Darrin. I move some of the bags around. Behind one of them is a bulky look­ing vac­u­um thing. It has a lit­tle hose attached to it and a han­dle. My phone buzzes in my back pocket.

Get archi­tec­tur­al asphalt

I grab a bag of archi­tec­tur­al asphalt and put it in my cart with the vac­u­um. It’s the same girl at check­out from a few weeks ago. I point to the vac­u­um and ask how much. There isn’t a price on it. She looks at it, then over to a man wear­ing a red smock with the words General Manager stitched on the front. He talks to anoth­er guy about drills.

Eh, if it doesn’t have a price on it, just take it. I’ve nev­er seen those in here before anyways. 

You sure?

Yeah just don’t let that guy see. She nods toward the man in the red smock. He’s hold­ing a yel­low drill like it’s a pis­tol. He pulls the trig­ger and the drill bit spins and spins and the man he’s with nods.

A few hours after I return home the pow­er is restored, but it doesn’t mat­ter because when I plug the bulky vac­u­um into the out­let, it won’t turn on. It’s broken.

~

I was in New Orleans when she died. I was get­ting ready to work the din­ner shift. It was fall. Tourists were return­ing to the city and we were going to be busy. My mom called me to let me know it was almost time, that Ema’s feet were real­ly cold.

Icy, she’d said.

She put the phone up to Ema’s ear so I could say good­bye. I stood in my kitchen, rolled an orange with my palm on the counter and stared out the win­dow. Blue sky. I told her I loved her, that she changed my life, and promised I’d find a bet­ter bra.

At sun­set, I walk my dogs up the lev­ee and to the riv­er. The water is chop­py. It looks the way the bay did on the day we left Ema in it. You’re not sup­posed to do that if you’re Jewish, you’re not sup­posed to get cre­mat­ed, but it’s what she want­ed. She must have need­ed to feel the water on her body, the same way I need to feel the riv­er on mine here at The End of the World.  Leave me in the Mississippi.

I unleash my dogs and they trot, sniff­ing, along­side me. I find a stick and throw it out into the water. Watch the dogs charge towards the set­ting sun into the river.

~

Mik Grantham is the founder and co-edi­tor of Disorder Press which she runs with her broth­er. She is the author of the poet­ry col­lec­tion HARDCORE (Short Flight/Long Drive Books). Her work has appeared in New World Writing, Hobart, Maudlin House, The Nervous Breakdown, and Fanzine. She lives in New Orleans.