The Caretaker

Yesterday, he awoke to the mechanical groans of a living city. Today, he awoke to the guttural groans of a dead city.

Yesterday, he watched over a library of buried stories. Today, they crawled out of their shelves, continuing through decayed pages.

Yesterday, he trimmed the limbs of trees he had once planted. Today, he trimmed the limbs of people he had once buried.

Yesterday, he placed a headstone on an elderly man’s bed of dirt. Today, the old man’s head—stones washed in pink and red mush—rests on that granite pillow.

Yesterday, he piled autumn leaves. Today, he piled corpses—the autumn leaves of the world’s fall.

Yesterday, he mowed the lawn to keep it from looking like his permanent bed hair. Today, he mowed down dozens of reanimated corpses with his pickup truck.

Yesterday, he ate from a white bowl of cereal for dinner. Today, his shovel—clotted with blood and hair—ate from bony bowls of brains for dinner.

Yesterday, he showered thoughts of suicide away, while the world committed it. Today, the dead rose from the earth’s dirt-filled gashes.

Yesterday, he placed a cross on another day with his pen—another yesterday buried in the graveyard of calendar pages on his bedroom walls. Today, the past refused to stay buried—hundreds of yesterdays crawled out of their graves to rip today apart.

Yesterday, the immortal cemetery caretaker hopelessly prayed for death before he went to sleep. Today, death is still knocking on his door.