If I were the last postal worker on earth
there would be too much left to deliver. Instead
I’d make a deep pile of all the unread letters
and bury myself in its dead center.
I’d find a way to breathe through mounds of junk.
I’d go tearing through the backlog trying to find
enough food and clothing to survive
in the packages. Of course,
someone out there would be waiting for me
to bring them what they wanted, what they needed,
what they’d been waiting for; longing to hear
from someone, yearning for the sound
of the lid coming down hard on the box
or the sight of the red flag raised upon its side.
I’d have no choice. No room for any of that.
Call me selfish or insane, but if I were
the last postal worker on earth
I’d have to stop being a postal worker at once
in the face of the mountain of need
that had fallen upon me. I know
I’d have to revert to relying on myself
for the most basic needs,
ones I’m not sure I can meet even now
as I wait for the mail carrier to come
and bring me, with no malice of their own,
nothing but dread, temptation,
and the searing murder of, once again,
not one damn love letter.