To See the Earth Before the End of the World

People are grabbing at the chance to see
the earth before the end of the world,
the world’s death piece by piece each longer than we.

Some endings of the world overlap our lived
time, skidding for generations
to the crash scene of species extinction
the five minutes it takes for the plane to fall,
the mile ago it takes to stop the train,
the small bay        to coast the liner into the ground,

the line of title to a nation    until the land dies,
the continent uninhabitable.
That very subtlety of time between

large and small
Media note        people chasing glaciers
in retreat up their valleys        and the speed...

watched ice was speed made invisible,
now—        its days and a few feet further away,
a subtle collapse of time between large

and our small human extinction.
If I have a table
at this event, mine bears an ice sculpture.

Of whatever loss it is    it last as long as ice
does until it disappears        into its polar white
and melts        and the ground beneath it, into vapor,

into air.    All that once chased us and we
chased to a balance chasing back, tooth for spear,
knife for claw,
                         locks us in this grip
          we just now see
                                        our own lives taken by
taking them out.          Hunting the bear,
we hunt the glacier with the changes come
                of that choice.