The End of Worlds | Mary Ellen Dingley


Glimpses of foreign cities, half‐realized worlds still rattling under my skin.
Let me tell you two:

Kiev, Ukraine:
a hill on the outskirts where we lit a fire,
women selling kittens and underwear in a subway tunnel,
buses that bend like accordions.
The hope that life would always be so large.
Old women with shawls.
An alphabet like art, summertime like spring,
poverty in elevators that fit you as well as a careful coffin would.
Women in boots past the knees.
You in the late night, the story of your arrest.
The world ends ‐ twenty story Soviet bloc apartments crumble like old men.

Huancayo, Peru:
sudden parades, each night, colorful, strident, clinging.
High fences, sidewalks that disappear into barbershops
where children sit on plastic horses to have their hair cut,
reappear in quiet neighborhoods.
Mountains that watch you, old women with shawls.
Bright shining mall, men selling cow’s hearts outside.
Our sickness, our weakness, a sky that will always be so large.
It never rains this time of year. A thunderstorm that frightens us,
but we are ashamed to say.
The world ends – people burn bundles of coca and money.

Mary Ellen Dingley is a recent graduate of the George Washington University, and is spending a year traveling the world as a teacher and dancing, eating, sitting on buses and writing. Her poetry won the Academy of American Poets College Prize at her university. You can find her travel adventures and other musings at

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  1. Pingback: Delve into Issue Twelve | Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine

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