A musical poem by the nonetheless heterosexual poet Axefellow
for the radiant Tina Korbe
A thought political took five,
And they, a billion and nine.
A billion nine less five is four
And a billion left beside.
The billion bored, to bored four said,
“You know what might just be sweet?
See if we can, just for fun, think
In stanzas, verses, and feet!”
“Like the idea,” slowly drawled four
To billion hopping and tense,
“Love the idea, but take it would
More than is hither or hence.
“One billion nine is all we are,
But six one billions we’d need—
Six billion, then ten billion more—
To stand the thought upon feet.”
“O, nothing worry, nothing fear!
Tis easy, sharing good pie!
We’ll spend our billion, then our nine,
Then shut our eyes to our own blind!
We’ll dream five billion, ten more find—
Sixteen billion and nine!”
“Sixteen billion and nine!”
To four the sound was strange indeed,
New something under the sun.
Imaginary neurons? No . . .
Just sixteen’s labors each one.
The burden promised cruelty, la,
Not one, sixteen in the pack?
To steal a fortnight’s food, thought four,
—To bear it all on one’s back?
Too late, too wide too many eyes!
Burst!—bursting neurons deplete.
The simple thought, one or two words,
Dancéd instead on new feet.
“Ah,” slurred four, “So now here we are,
And we’ve forgotten our name.
We’re emptied out, tomorrow’s spent—
Ourselves are only to blame.
“Still,” four yawned, telling my hands,
Reach for warm jammies and cap,
“Unlike poor fool America,
We heal by taking a nap.”
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