from apocalypse theory: a reader

by Kristy Bowen

When my apocalypse theory was born, I was wearing a wig and crying a lot. All sewn up, all sold out. I carried a rope, a rape whistle in my pocket, but my vowels were still sugary and soft like warm bread. My apocalypse theory was just beginning to see the error of his ways when I placed a bullet on the table. Said go for it. Here is the lamp. Here is the desk. In my bedroom mirror, I practiced a Swedish accent. Drew a perfect line in the dust on the dresser. Here is my bed. Here is the end. There goes my baby. Over and over again. I bought a fake compass at the end of a shiny gold chain. In my apocalypse theory, everyone was always falling down while running from something. Everyone was always falling.


My apocalypse theory always says California like that, slow and full of vowels. Like it's a state made out of pink cotton candy and dead letter offices. Made out of water, room temperatures, still in a glass. By now all my insides are outsides. All my outsides tethered against me like enormous stuffed animals. I fear going mostly because I fear I will never come back. I fear coming back because it's mostly like going over and over again. My apocalypse theory loves the revision. The overwritten mix-tape. Loves my insides, the actual inside not the made up, made-for-tv version. My apocalypse theory always says California like it's a threat.


My apocalypse theory needs more white space. More space around the thickness of things. More space suits and dirty go-go boots. To say it was a party would be a lie, but sometimes it was like a dinner gathering of your very best assassins. Knives in the bundt cake and everyone eyeing the cadavers. I needed more rope, so we made a game of it. Made a harness out of bed sheets and lowered me down. At the end of the week, I had eaten my way through the beginning of things and was starting on the house. Had sharpened my incisors into tiny points that hummed when I touched metal. Everyone kept throwing up all the broken doll parts. My fingers were slick with all that sugar.