Investigating the life of things across space and time

27 August 1883

Today not quite the same
as yesterday or tomorrow,
the consonants of Krakatoa
Clatter free, escaping 
between the aaahhs and the ohhhs
that stretch and yawn

On the shore a magician
pulls a rabbit out of a hat
A woman swallows swords 
A man kicks inside a water tank
and a fire-eater spits out
sulphurous fumes in
Yellow, orange, green.

There is no time, only
air snapping
wind clapping
wings slapping
dogs yapping
and mouths turned upside down
in disbelief

In this moment of last calculation
the conjuror wonders
If somehow one of his tricks
has gone calamitously wrong
When he sees the rabbit above him
Somersaulting in water,
White, blue, grey.

Then all the world is piebald
Rope, nets, bodies and oranges 
Stick to coral and pumice
And on coasts far away
Crows swoop, beady eyes 
Fastened on something that glitters,
something precious.

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