There are men in rooms, sharpened
by white-wet light which cut right through
the inch-thick residue
piled on glass. Windows –
a constant here – magnifying whatever was left
of the outside, the other place. Such men!
prodding small seeds in row on row
of cat-black soil –
fertilised by those who know
their compounds, their futures, or just
how the shoots can grow and bend toward
a sun that may
or may not thrust itself from dawn to night.
Chariots. A great bird. Ball of gas.
They sit, and gaze
and hour on hour they push and test
the cracking husk. A blade, a new life
Now broken free, it’s quickly splinted
strapped up, gartered, forced to stand.
They gender, sex, they splice and list,
pen tips wet lips
and stems are bound,
the blossom is sketched, breath is held,
leaves cover shame, and shame is shown
clearly. Slowly. Daily.
It is hot in here
and so very, very quiet.
They say the men are old.