Shearing time

In Mexico a baby’s crying, crying,
In Calcutta, the cattle step and groan.
And north, off Ellesmere’s broken haunches,
Aurorae color empty ocean bone.

Tick-tock, the algae’s started blooming,
Shave a minute off the sentence handed down.
Put a staple in the ear of your beloved
So you’ll recognize her when she comes around.

Tick-tock-tick, the windows all are closing.
A flash of birds, a distant cry of goats…
Something walks among us, arms spread open.
Its bony snout is nuzzling your throat.

      Waters recede
      The gasping fish
      The collapsing star

In countries which your children never heard of,
The outbreak starts. It shudders off its sleep.
Ten thousand years of gentle irritation:
It’s time now for the shearing of the sheep.

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