The End of the World, by Alan Toltzis

The End of the World
by Alan Toltzis

          God destroyed Noah’s generation
          because the earth was full of petty theft.
                    Sanhedrin 108a

Alone, in the produce aisle, I pluck and palm
a single green grape,
the cool globe
smooth as a worn stone.
As if clearing my throat,
I cover my mouth and savor
a sweetly crisp explosion of flavor.
Theft worth less a cent. Drop
by drop insignificance,
surges unnoticed—a deluge
of unending violence, inundating
the last ark of honesty, afloat
in swarming swells of indifference.

Alan Toltzis is the author of two poetry collections—49 Aspects of Human Emotion and The Last Commandment—and two chapbooks, Nature Lessons and Mercy.  His poems have appeared in numerous print and online publications and he was runner up for the Thomas Merton Poetry Prize in Poetry of the Sacred. Alan serves as poetry editor for Dark Onus Lit and Poetica Publishing. After a lifetime in Philadelphia, he now lives in Los Angeles. Find him online at; follow him @ToltzisAlan.

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