She Swallowed the Sun – Jake Tringali

beautiful and twisted, ten-thousand pairs of solar flares looped outward from the photosphere.  they sprayed and ejected and multiplied. 
beneath each of those flares hid arcs of electromagnetic energy, curved through spacetime.  each arc flexed and whipped outward in its violence.
running asymptotically through each arc, in knotted dimensions, was a shadow of an equation, and an outline of a hellion particle.  a sub-quantum apocalypse beneath it all.
luisa was the first to glimpse the devil.  she studied the increasing flares and understood hell before any other human.  a spinning carousel of mayhem was impending upon the earth.  she took her meds, and then politely announced the apocalypse to the world, from her broken chair in the physics department.
seven years.
too short a timeframe for recovery, or redemption.  too long a timeframe to live with the knowledge.
the media started tearing her down immediately.
luisa became an icon, moving from ingolstadt to munich to london.  each trip saw more of the old world burn, as mankind was eviscerated with death’s knowledge. 
her husband, a linguist, was left behind.  he invented new words to describe the new fatalistic emotions.  the emotions of ghosts.
politicians clicked their tongues.  governments fractured away and new factions formed and labeled themselves.  the last generation, the omegas, rose through remnants of power.  its symbol on telephone poles, t-shirts, branded onto arms and legs next to last year’s infinity tattoos.  in the new now, nothing is permanent. 
omegas took to the warmth of comfort in knowing their own extinction.  omegas took to kneeling on the grave of the earth.  omegas took to travel, took to bodily harm and pleasure.  man’s wanderlust unbounded.
luisa enjoyed the new promiscuity as everyone danced and raptured.  in city after city, it bubbled up within her.  man after man after woman after woman.  no more meds, no more media.  they both ruined her self-esteem.  instead, she focused herself on goal-oriented behaviors, groupshare art projects, and then sided with the archealibrarians.  something to leave her mark on the world, long after the biological breakdown of flesh and bone.
in the end, she took to simple gardening, considered either a saintly act or a perverse one. 
above, the tendrils of death reached down from the great sol.  in those last instants, the grass reached up towards those tendrils in that little garden in ingolstadt.  little luisa reached up, as did the last remnants of humankind
Boston, MA
November 2016

‘She Swallowed the Sun’ was first published by Harbinger Asylum.

After living in Los Angeles for many years, Jake is now back in his home city of Boston.  Runs rad restaurants.  Thrives in a habitat of bars, punk rock shows, and late-night adventures.  First published in 2014.  Journals include Catch & Release, Boston Poetry Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, and thirty-five other fine periodicals.

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