Magdalena Ball – Precarious Inscruitable

When the sea rises to eye level
tears become redundant
every day a baker’s dozen
or more
the red list has 20,000 names
20,000 is a random number
unbounded, like e or Pi
though more finite
0 is usually taken for granted
like the sound of nomatic flocks
passenger pigeons aggregating
flapping, filling the sky in thickened clouds
warbling, dropping, disappearing
leaving a silence so profound
it hurt the ears
until we got used to it
our ear drums morphed
attuned to the sound of the engine
the clack of a keypad
we filled the gap with
gun shot, cash registers
the slide of plastic, the squeal of
pigs heading for slaughter
lathes, hammerings
efficient death is noisy business
a noise we cling to
in order to hide the increasing
silence of
billions of missing
the cardinality             of the empty set