At Which Point, We Lose Volume IX

This leveling, the scythe with its projecting
pegs.  See:  the frontier of grain recedes,
the future behind us (who’s been left hungry?)

Also, the animals.  Their search
for surnames:  sea mouse, sea parrot, sea hare.

The disappearance of the secretary bird (seismic
surveys, the lightning branch
of thought), witness 1,000,000 eggs

for every shipworm.  I say again, the sheepshank
                       
was premature, however
long and knotted, ditto the shuffleboard.

Stromatolites and stone chimes – I don't wonder
           their tongues, their
synthetic division, it is

not as if rock reveals its dialect      light
           
stops at surface tension.

This is the future of stacked straw: 
                        
tailorbirds stitching swastikas.

This is the lesson of Thermopylae: 
                       
songbirds and terza rima.

Forget the Thirty Tyrants and
Thomas the Rhymer.  This terraformed

            question, the flat diction 

of squalls. A plague of thrips 
in the roses, our hands bright with blood.