At the End

At the End
Beth Cato

the news about
the end of the world
gave me the gumption
to finally
ask Mabel out
she said no with a kind smile
I sat out on the levee

soon enough the so-called
feral tom cat found my lap
my hand heavy
upon his rumbly back
I watched the sun set
a final time
this world’s a nice one
such a shame
to lose it

Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the Blood of Earth trilogy from Harper Voyager. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cats. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.