Waiting by a crosswalk, we watched a motorcyclist zoom by.

The ground shook like an elephant caught in a draft,

prompting me to contemplate the fragility of the cosmos.

We were holding hands, happy to feel the breeze on our faces.

Being somewhat of a wind connoisseur, I noticed a hint of ginger

with a delicate bouquet of foreboding. But I kept it to myself.

A bony woman with a droopy face came up to us and asked,

“Excuse me, were you two laughing at me?”

M and I looked at each other, a bit shocked by the question.

“No,” I said. The droopy-faced woman blinked and nodded.

“Oh,” she said, “sorry about that. I have low self-esteem. Have a nice day.”

And then she droopily shuffled off.

“I didn’t think we were laughing at her, were we?” I asked.

“Oh no,” M said, “I wasn’t laughing at all.”

At a traffic light, we stared absentmindedly at the colored circles.

They looked like brightly lit cough drops. “You know,” I said guiltily,

“I might have been giggling a little under my breath.”

“Yeah,” M said, “me too.”

A pick-up truck nearby ran the red light and almost hit a man

crossing on the other side of the street.

M and I couldn’t hold it back any longer and we burst out laughing.

Our sides hurt so much, everything began shaking uncontrollably.

Soon dandelions in sidewalk cracks were bent over in hysterics,

skyscrapers were leaning on each others shoulders and howling,

planets could be heard slapping their knees, even the Milky Way

was spewing dairy out its nose… And this is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang. Certainly not with a whimper. But with a chortle.

(Greg Santos is a Canadian living in the USA. He swears he has all his papers up to date. His first full-length book of poetry is due out in fall 2010. He is the poetry editor of pax americana. He blogs here.)