That was the year El Nino made us doubt if
winter would come at all. But winter would come.

That was the century when we took special note
of how long the dinosaurs roamed and how long
the blink of an eye really was. Blink.

Down in the trenches we were fighting about usage
versus syntax, about how far the neighborhood
of love really extended, about the proper arrangement

of furniture and voting districts and other
bulwarks against the sureties of cancer and angina.

Meanwhile, over our heads, the clouds raced
and birds flew confused along the old flyways

while under our feet continents floated
and crashed, high tides loaded with VOCs
threatened the big towns, and we continued

the old dance which we gave different names to,
still hiding from knowing quite why we did it.

Down in the deepest hole we’d ever made
we sought a silence and an answer, the data
always corrupted by our longing.

As ever, we threw our arms wide to the universe
aching for embrace. Angry, alone, and afraid

we uncorked another bottle against the steel
of a vessel loaded with warheads we named
after our mothers.