The dust finally settles, and it’s safe to come out.
Doors of fallout shelters creak open,
exhale recycled air and the smell
of confinement. The first step
cautiously out into the open.
Huddled masses stretch themselves into the halls
of new palaces: abandoned, themed McDonald’s
massive stock exchange buildings bearing reliefs of
extinct flowers and grains
an ice skating rink, big enough
for children and horses.
Self-proclaimed kings and queens
spontaneously create new religions
and traditions, declare them in a competition of cacophony
through broken skyscraper windows
and flimsy observation decks
littered with the bodies of sparrows and pigeons.