Hands To Midnight

Charlie Cole is polishing her resume in this poem that wonders about our priorities.

Writing by Charlie Cole
Art By Irina Tall

Hands to Midnight

The clock’s face smashes 

into mine. 

Its thick shards now at home 

with my soft flesh. 

Warning signs don’t get more obvious than this, yet 

where am I, polishing

my resume. 

The hands bisect all its numbers and unleash a great flood. 

But I need to state my employee objective. 

The winds of apocalypse whip past me. 

My past work history though! Hurling hurricanes and tumbling tornadoes rip the fabric of time, but I’m not finished listing my skills.

All of my atoms begin to splinter and now I exist solely as their composite.

An optical illusion of a human 

being, but still able to hit that enter button. 

I go to submit while my ears bleed from a whistling sky. 

The stratosphere bubbles up like a creamsicle melting in an unrelenting summer sun. 

The bombs have arrived. Heat death, 

chaos reigns, and the fallout flurries down upon me. 

The clock is dead and the fractured particles of my feet crunch atop its demise. At least 

I got my resume in. Oh shit, I forgot a cover letter! 

Hastags i was thinking :

Time, capitalism, command, loss, apocalypse, resume.

About the Author

macro photography of water dew of glass

Charlie Cole is the product of a town no one has ever heard of which, of course, means she gravitated toward creating stories to match her dreams of escape. When she is not writing she can be found vomiting out pop culture diatribes and trying to make friends with the bats in the belfry of her mind. Proud advocate for mental health, queer identity, and neurodivergency.

About the Artist

body of water

Irina Tall (Novikova) is an artist, graphic artist, illustrator. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in art, and also has a bachelor’s degree in design. The first personal exhibition “My soul is like a wild hawk” (2002) was held in the museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In her works, she raises themes of ecology, in 2005 she devoted a series of works to the Chernobyl disaster, draws on anti-war topics. The first big series she drew was The Red Book, dedicated to rare and endangered species of animals and birds. Writes fairy tales and poems, illustrates short stories. She draws various fantastic creatures: unicorns, animals with human faces, she especially likes the image of a man – a bird – Siren. In 2020, she took part in Poznań Art Week. Her work has been published in magazines: Gupsophila, Harpy Hybrid Review, Little Literary Living Room and others. In 2022, her short story was included in the collection “The 50 Best Short Stories”, and her poem was published in the collection of poetry “The wonders of winter”.

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