by Adam Cooper

On the horizon’s fixed and fertile line
rises the sun, the star that burns.
Another limbo melts in that
shimmering orange mass,
a new day begins to budge.
The asphalt band stretches on,
the miles stream by, casting their trance:
a never-ending needle and its
steady, anesthetic drip.
Ahead, a scene of new roadwork comes into view.
In the blank white haze, a July morning’s
fresh menace, gleams a row of yolky steel:
construction vehicles neatly lined atop the
newly flattened earth, claws outstretched and
poised to churn the world.
They tremble, wreathed in fumes,
ready to raze whatever lush and
senseless innocents are next.

Timelines are like taffy—pinch the ends
and pull apart to make the whole thing limp.
Just another catastrophe, all
man’s dread and ceaseless industry:
the earth eats them with the eras.
A little planetary patience is called for.
All things are caught in a slow tectonic plunge,
fated to fall beneath some plate with the
passing of the millennia. Nothing endures.
Some ranging stone, chucked from space,
some unseen froth of germs—malignant,
tireless—could deal the final blow.
There are no winners.
Even now, on the ocean’s black and
squirming floor, things that nuzzle lava
and fatten on our spew lie waiting,
just waiting,

waiting for their chance.

Adam Cooper of Rockville, Maryland has been writing off and on for many years, primarily poetry and microfiction. He spends most of his year teaching a Montessori classroom and enjoys playing oboe with great feeling and virtually no talent at all.  During his coveted, swampy summers he plays hi-error tennis and occasionally manages to get away to climb rotting pyramids in Mesoamerica. Year-round he is a husband, and father to one eight-year-old daughter.