A million years fell out of the sky today
and swam towards the end of the world
like an old fat eel that knew everything.
It curled with the energy of city
then went as straight as the empty ocean horizon
and knocked over a pile of fuel.
It fed on fossils like a black hole
feeding on light.
It fed on the eternal fires of uranium
as if it couldn’t get enough of the burning.
Its heart became a core of molten aluminium
pumped through rustproof tubes which began to burst.
Its tungsten flukes,
hardened in the furnace of a mutagenic brain,
began to shatter.
The turbine blades or its teeth
Its body broke up like a burnt-out rocket casing.
Its head became a bunker of concrete
eaten by radioactivity
spitting atoms, as disturbed as people,
in the face of Creation,
which began to catch the disease
today at the end of the world.
From South Pacific Sunrise (Penguin, 1986)