the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




L. S. Asekoff

One Minute Before Midnight

Faced with the "great American incognitum,"
Wisps of background radiation so preposterously faint
They're less than the energy of a falling snowflake,
A hundred Hiroshimas in a cell,
We're still in the Dark Ages.
Just drop a net down & see what comes up:
34,000 hockey gloves, pastel organelles,
Galaxies of scattered salt —
All of human history in one hand.
Still, when cryptozoa enter the picture,
& everything is read through the spirit glass,
The whys & wherefores escape us.
Not "Is this true?" but "Is this crazy enough?"
Wandering rocks, cloud atlas, wave mechanics
Offer their strange charms.
A clunderthap! & it's "Three quarks for Mustar Mark!"
Between cataclysms above, eructations below,
Life clings to its perilous perch.
At the knife-edge of extinction,
"The city waiting to die" drifts on its giant lily pads into the ice-age night.



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