Less Than Infinity

Six billion.
Doubled in less than forty years.
Can you count a billion?
Nine zeros times 6
Means what?
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, hawk, the elephant
Bones in a graveyard
Overgrown withweeds
Distended open-mouthed babies cry
Choking on air
Too thick to breathe.


all poems copyright 2000 laurence overmire[reprint only with author's consent]