A tattered flag dances on a rusty pole,
having forgotten what color it once bore.
It has forgotten that it is a flag,
and what flags are even for.
Was it a bed sheet caught by bad luck,
or a symbol of hubris since humbled?
None can tell, the reports say,
there are none left.
The rag flutters at full mast, saluting the death
of civil servants muttering below their breath.
Everyone’s dead! scream the rotting newspapers
behind the cracked glass of their rusted dispensers.
This is a planet suffocated by an idiot race
that left a running car indoors,
stayed for tea, lazed and slept,
multiplied and made merry,
then burned the bodies to hide
their monumental stupidity.
Easier to remember faces than dig holes,
and if you can fit thirty five heads
into a two body boot,
just imagine what you can do
with a billion unused cars.
It looks like they built and they built
until there was simply no more room,
and they ate and lived and fathered
and sang and thought and wrote,
made love, war and many a treasure,
and used and churned and measured
and grew and burned and murdered
until there were no more brides or grooms,
just the long prophesied doom.
There are no more funerals,
no fun in this immortal urinal
that is half clay, half undrinkable,
there are none left to sing elegies,
every ending should have eulogies
so silently final.
Under layers of dust and ash,
under this meaningless, floating rag
and beside the splintered corpses of trees leafless like discarded matchsticks,
every poem is posthumously ghost-written and never read,
the bricks have crumbled into desiccated bread,
but bone persists through the ages.