Yellow Applause

The last woman on Earth
was a carpenter. She posed
next to a crate of lemons
and hammered them into her wall.
She talked to the clouds. “Clouds,
how do you like my yellow?”

She hammered more lemons.
Hammered years straight. She ate dried cacti found
by the bog and ripped off her ceiling.
The collapsed jack rafters, the gable removed.
She reached for the lemon crate,
more lemons to smooth.

She hammered the skin, hammered the pith
and the pulp. The juice that bleached her hair.
She shouted at the clouds. The clouds that stayed
grey like decayed lemons soaked in ash.

The crate finally emptied. The lemons
extinct. The clouds spoke
for the first time in lightning strikes, keeping
the house bright, giving it
more color, the last woman on earth
shouting loudly, “Clouds, how I love your yellow!”

Benjamin Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had his work published in Cheap Pop, Pithead Chapel, Paper Darts (forthcoming), Cease Cows (forthcoming), and various others.

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