Less Than Infinity (October 12,1999)
Doubled in less than forty years.
Can you count a billion?
Nine zeros times 6
Hands, fingers, stomachs, mouths
Six (6,000,000,000) billion
Bracing one against the other
For whatever reasons
The Earth becomes cement
The sky ripped apart
The tiger, the hawk, the elephant
Bones in a graveyard
Overgrown with weeds
Distended open-mouthed babies cry
Choking on air
Too thick to breathe.
(Previously published in The Hinterland, Spring 2000, Issue 1. Note: On Oct.12,1999, the world's population reached 6 billion.)