Headlines for the death of a garden in fall. The subterranean voices of spiders. The tragic musical of the year’s last butterfly dance. Married toads who pretend to be pretty frogs, because frogs have the fancier love life. The size of the mosquito-breeding swamps behind the house. What would the bugs do without our blood. What would god do without our endless complaining. And the flowers: do they care if we’re looking? Of course they do. At the bottom of a slimy pond lives an immortal asthmatic fish, who knows all about the end of the world and when it’ll come. He won’t tell anyone though. He’s full of hope himself: in his dimly lit mind, angelic trout let a ladder down into the water. They care about him and make sure that he climbs the heavenly ladder to freedom and safety while behind him firestorms rage through the bright night. He’s never wondered how he’d breathe out of the water or how he’d climb the ladder without feet. Details of his miraculous liberation are of little concern to a being that is privy to the grand plan of creation and destruction. The fish stretches his fins with glee. He feels the approach of a season: another year of waiting is over. The last butterfly stops flapping. The spiders are having a late breakfast on yesterday’s bug fest. I make the necessary blood sacrifice to the giant mosquitos and I wonder where my ichor will flow today. The toad has given up his disguise—it’s easier to survive the winter as yourself.