An Afternote to a Book Without Us

Cockroaches raced along the ground here long before
there were dark alleys and rancid dumpsters
truck drivers and greasy spoon diners, old hamburger wrappers
to curl up inside. Before we were here, cockroaches
scuttled in the nests of dinosaurs, fed on the sticky albumin
of newly-hatched eggs, dug tunnels in massive piles of fecal matter,
were old even then. They lived through
the asteroids, the second and third great extinctions
left petrified footprints in the mud
alongside our first bipedal ancestors.

They will be here to see the last flower of humanity
wilt in the heat of cataclysm, will polish our bones
with their tiny, patient mandibles, will lay their eggs
in our shirt pockets and empty hats. There will be
no great cockroach takeover,
no post-apocalyptic ascension to superiority—
they will always just be, chitinous wings fluttering
scurrying, squeaking in the dark.


Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Plainsongs, The Long Islander, and The Nashwaak Review. Her newest poetry collections are In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (, Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), and Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing).

Jury S. Judge is an internationally published artist, photographer, writer, poet, and political cartoonist. Her “Astronomy Comedy” cartoons are also published in Lowell Observatory’s quarterly publication, The Lowell Observer. She has been interviewed on the television news program, “NAZ Today” for her work as a political cartoonist. Her artwork has been widely featured in literary magazines such as Dodging The Rain, The Tishman Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Blue Moon Review, and The Ignatian Literary Journal. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014.