End of Exponential

Race among the garbage odors:

fly-gyres in summer air,

cyclone clouds of silent wings,

fly circles centered on my stare.


What is not today decaying?

Groceries turn into waste,

poems go to tattered pages;

tongues dry out and lose their taste.


Why do I continue watching,

figuring trajectories?

Somewhere maggot eggs are waiting,

forming new simplicities.


Is there any end to spending

everything we own or steal?

Can we carry on forever

trading money for a meal?


Termite generations cycle,

chewing cellulose to dust —

more discarded cells consuming.

Somehow, calculate I must:


How much longer can we make it?

How much further can we go?

How much more can we discover?

How much less can we still know?



(10 July 1974)

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