Job Security

Umang Kalra


I tell M I’d love to have something
“lined up”: what a particular, post-
apocalyptic peculiarity: comfort
in the planned future. The refrain
of flaming trees only goes         so far:
the fire         has to stop            once
it has burnt the last of it           down.
Are we the last of it? I can’t apply
for jobs without thinking of the funeral.
I tell my mother I’m not having children
because I don’t trust the world
they’d grow       into. The truth is
I’d rather keep
my money,      my sanity,      etc.
We are looking at shirts that go hard online.
We are looking at the carcasses of houses.
We are looking at each other, thinking
of when we could’ve held hands.
What does job security taste like
through the smoke? What does
apocalypse         feel like         when it keeps
fucking going, what do we call it now? I remember thinking
         wow!   the kids are calling it an emergency.
         wow!   the kids are calling it a crisis.
         wow!   the kids are calling it the apocalypse.
what does it mean to name         the thing that will kill you?
I’d love to have something          “lined up”. I’d love an ending
less severe. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
……..what does it mean to name
………………the thing
……..that will kill



Umang Kalra is an Indian writer. She is the founding EIC of Violet Indigo Blue, Etc. She is a two-time Best of the Net Anthology finalist and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in ANMLY, Strange Horizons, Lucy Writers’ Platform, and elsewhere. She is the author of ‘fig’ (2022) and ‘MINIMALIST SWEETHEART’ (-algia, 2021). She tweets at @umkalra. Read more at

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