The Veritable Speed of Light
by Alan Birkelbach

If all time is now
then I do not feel too guilty
about dropping everything else
that I should be doing
and instead writing down
this poem that is
speeding through my brain.
This is one of those
express trains of a poem
that has come barreling unscheduled
from some far-off city of inspiration
and doesn’t intend to stop
so I’ll just have to try and snag
what sounds and images I can.
The trashcan sits un-emptied
by my chair and bunnies graze
in the grass I should mow.
But all time is now I tell myself again,
as if that will stop everything.
Vesuvius will still need to grumble
but not yet smother Pompeii,
the Spartans will still hold Thermopylae,
the Mayans will still be running around
chipping calendars from stone,
and the tiny little chain
of Caribbean islands
whose name I always forget
will not yet be swallowed
by the sea.

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