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Stations of the Apocalypse

Outside, the rhythm of the carpenter's hammer
Is unsteady, breaking often
Into a series of taps to straighten nails.

The eggs rumbling down the sorting belt
Are cracked- one sorter says that unhealthy chickens
Make thin shells, another says the machine
Is becoming violent.

The porter is rousting twenty passengers
Lulled to sleep by the train,
Sleeping past their stops to the end of the line.
Their eyes are as white as eggshells.

In the middle of the battlefield the camera
Finds a flower and focuses on it
And the butterfly clinging there.
For three hours the picture has been the same,
Except the butterfly is gone,
Scared off by the hammering shells.
Is the cameraman a great teacher, a leader?
Or has he been chased off?
Or is he dead, no one to pan over his face?

I wake to the sound of the hammer outside,
Its coded starts and stops
Breaking incoherently into my dream.
I want to sleep, but the unpredictable pounding
Keeps me awake, waiting for the hammer to fall.