Tonight, in the middle of nowhere

Tonight the toppled city sleeps with its head to its knees. Tonight the trees have stopped burning. There are none left. Tonight no one screams in the streets. No corpses stagger along, lost. Tonight the world might be dead. He feels nothing. So he walks into the desert of oblivion, which stretches lazy hollow cold before him. And when he looks back, the wide horizon is so empty he can see the curve of the earth. A starless night and a nightless night, a night that is not a night because no one can see or feel or hear or touch or taste the night. Buildings sleeping. Everything sleeping. Or maybe—gone, eaten up by wind and rage but mostly, inevitably, time. Leveling the bumps, smoothing out the human imperfections. Leaving nothing ugly and nothing beautiful and nothing in between. He doesn't know; he only knows: He is no closer to infinity than he was before. Life becomes death becomes dust becomes becomes becomes what? When the world is silent his thoughts are silent, too. Once, a fall of words and hope through his fingers to fire. Better to forget, as the rain has forgotten the flowers. He walks like a machine. Until: He thinks he sees a castle breaking the waves of endless endless existence. A spark, a twitch. He almost feels. But there is nothing. Tonight the very sky is blank and gone, a nonexistent canvas where a nonexistent artist used to dream nonexistent thoughts.