how to lose your mind at the end of the world (an instruction manual)

step one: stare out the window for hours on end. pretend you’re making eye contact with someone.
step two: envision a post-apocalyptic future,
where you only eat canned beans,
talk to faces drawn on walls,
read the great american novels,
and finish all the bourbon.
feel alright with it. finish the bourbon.
step three:
draw a hole big enough for the sky to fit it.
let the sky fall in.
abandon the multi-step program,
abandon notions of time,
it is four four four in the morning
it is the first day of human existence
it is your birthday
it is the day the asteroid hits.
let the sky turn purple-
shout at the moon –
pound fists on glass –
sleep too often.
(do not go to sleep).

forget your first language,
the way it shaped your
pale blue world, stuttered through
tv static,
rolled past you on subway ads.
find a new god —
the newscaster, the demagogue,
the martyr, the rebel,
build them a tower of cardboard boxes
and a paper crown.
notice where the sun is
when the room turns violet and drowsy.
notice where your body is
when it stops answering to
that noise of your name.



Priya Subberwal a student at New York University, an environmental activist, and an avid poetry reader. She hails from the mountain west, where people are quiet and mountains and trees are loud. She loves to write poetry but has never submitted anything to a publication before now. Her favorite poets are Allen Ginsberg, Olivia Gatwood, Sarah Kay, and Mary Oliver. Her favorite bird is a crow. Her Instagram handle is @priya_roo.