Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The last few monks retreat in monasteries,
the vigilant in town consult well-thumbed
survival guides, and all the caged canaries
left in the mines have recently succumbed.
Tales reach us of some vast deforestation;
down at the corner store, those in the know
predict the President’s assassination;
and, any day now, Betelgeuse will blow.
Although I’m wary of a stranger’s touch—
I, too, hear rumors of an epidemic—
the wearing of protective gear is such
a waste of time when entropy’s systemic.
No need to build a shelter. Let down your guard.
The end is always near. Come, kiss me hard.