the sun died this morning
and for eight fateful minutes
we were completely unaware—
until the men in coats with telescopes
pointed them upward into the ether,
optimistic for an uncalculated
eclipse or something they’d missed,
those faithful instruments
performed their final task
as they glimpsed the sputtering
flares of a terminal star
sending off swells of radioactivity
that would make everything
back on earth wiggle and dance
its way towards a warm death.
that’s likely when the men
sounded the futile alarms–
a direct line to the world’s
wealthy rang that it was time
to scurry off to their subterranean
edens to prolong what could have been
a merciful death. they will freeze leaving
orbit or be obliterated by a rogue jupiter.
the animals know best
and many made hasty deaths:
the birds gave a loving fatal peck
to every egg in their nest before
flying off to a crushing altitude.
the deer jumped with their eyes closed
off of overpasses and into traffic.
the snakes went straight to eating themselves.
marine life resisted the impulses to swim
or resurface and sank down into the abyss.
the weakest of the animals resorted
to the consumption of poison.
those devoid of affluence
and intuition poked their heads outside
to witness a midday blood
and the emergency systems blaring
out for trivial civility as the vehicles
hurled themselves haphazardly
into everything and the fire hydrants
celebrated it all by showering
the streets in champagne,
an aperitif to the slow annihilation
that came slithering in—
a radioactive serpent
with an ultraviolet tongue.
the serpent struck and disseminated
its infrared venom, and so began
the white-hot trickle of cellular evisceration.
the convulsions, the wailing, and the fear—
was this dying? was this death?
or was this slouching towards
andromeda to be born again?