The Last Woman on Earth

She thinks she remembers before, the lavender mist sprayed on bedspreads, the ease of switching on a light, the breath of an acoustic guitar. She hadn’t noticed any war playing out, each bomb an isolated image of smoke and fire so far away. A man’s bloodshot eyes and another man’s tears. She keeps finding guns after a full moon as they sweep in with the tide searching for powerful hands. The only things ever real were what she once held in her hands – warm coffee mugs, a dog’s leash, a cotton bra. She isn’t sure if chlorine ever existed, if she is clever enough to have invented something as grand as the sun or a toddler’s laugh. Instead, she digs down, deep into the dark sand, burying guns like little bodies.

Mary Stone is the author of the poetry collections "One Last Cigarette" and "Mythology of Touch," and a number of chapbooks, including "Honey and Bandages," a collaborative chapbook written with Katie Longofono, and "The Dopamine Letters" (Hyacinth Girl Press). Her poetry and prose has appeared in Gargoyle, Arts & Letters, South Dakota Review, Stirring, and other journals.. Currently, she lives, writes, and teaches in St. Joseph, MO, where she coordinates the First Thursday open mic reading series.