NPM 2

If I had drawn it

I wouldn’t have ended it like this.

I wouldn’t have looked over to see that he’d become one of them.

I guess there was no saving the world anymore.

If I had drawn it

there’d be a low camera angle

my body occupying the center of the lower half of the screen, fists clenched

in the same heroic pose

that showed up in the comics

I drew every Christmas for Dad,

the same pose he taught me

after practicing it for years

in the pages of his own stories.

I picture a breeze blowing from behind me on the left side of the screen,

the glow of a fire on the right,

my figure framed perfectly

by the CARGO sign on the trailer.

And what CARGO we were carrying.

I walked back toward the trailer

heard the unmistakable,

heard a low groaning

the occasional thud.

They were in there all right.

If this were a movie

you’d be yelling at the screen about now

because I kept walking towards it, opened the trailer doors, and let them out.

It took two days for the bite to change him,

two days to pretend he wasn’t dying,

two days to plan our inevitable escape,

because undying in a dead world is no way to make a living.

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