Robert Kloss

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In the Midst of Oblivion

By Robert Kloss

For so long only this rumor, for so long only the smear in the sky. For so long chalk etchings on the sidewalks in the shape of ancient beasts. For so long green lawns and mothers and fathers and the child.

Then the nights fallen into rows of nights, now impossible numbers of nights born out of the night. And in the night now the sound of an enormous yawn, a strange gulping like the sounds of seas drowning and screams echoing.

And the sky winked open. And the sky closed shut.

And in the morning the horizon burst with crimson flesh. And then the beast came in the vestige of enormous flame.

And the scales filled the windows. And all the houses and all the mothers and all the fathers were reflected in the eyes. And in the reflection their mouths were open in fat Os.

And there came the yawn of enormous lips, of the cities within the throat, of the ships and sailors, of the seas and brine, of the mothers and fathers, of the jungles and kingdoms, of the darkness into darkness within the throat of the impossible mouth.

And then there were no mothers. And then there were no fathers. And then there were no dogs. And then there were no cities. And then there were no trees.

And the child below lost beneath the fallen shadow. And the child below diminished into shadow.

And when the shadow was passed now in the midst of oblivion only a man remained. And so his name was ____________.

Robert Kloss is the author of a novel, The Alligators of Abraham (Mud Luscious Press), and a hybrid-text titled The Desert Places (co-written with Amber Sparks and illustrated by Matt Kish), forthcoming from Curbside Splendor.