Hiraeth, the Welsh Word That
Means Longing for Home, a Good
Poem Word My Friend Tells Me
but He Also Calls Dibs on It so
Hands Off Not That I’m Even Welsh

Glenn Shaheen

What will be the last song ever

played, notes drifting over some

ruinous hellscape. Ah, I do mean

played, not sung or dreamed. A

person selects it or it is shuffled

in. And, I mean, played via some

sort of device, like a record

player, a cassette deck, a holo

graphic transmitter. Hm, I was

trying to be deep, imagining

the easiest thing, humanity’s

demise. Do you think you’ll

hear it, the last song? Will you

even like it, or will it be one

of those songs that irritates you

at parties, dances, supermarkets?

I won’t hear it, let’s get that

straight. Like I’d be around, like

I’d be a little annointed so and so

who’d get the privilege of hearing

the last song played. Is that a

privilege? The European scientists

tell us it’s too late, we can do

nothing, climate bulking to wipe

us out, then they sip an expensive

wine. Post or pre apocalyptica

the easiest vision, a real genius

move to picture failure, I do that

every day for free. What if we

picture success, helping the poor,

the early victims — what if we

imagined doing something

for them? It might cost us a trip

across the country to trade beers

and lament our future failures.

It’s the white friends with their

very own houses on social media

who say it’s too late. Well can I

at least come over for dinner?

Can I hold the aux for a little bit?

I think I’m getting too specific,

the bird smashing its head into

the picture window. People only

like specificity, only like a

familiar melody, only like to

do a little nothing. The heavy

machinery breaking the gas line

causing thousands to evacuate

is music too. The squeal of the

rat as the child breaks its neck.


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