Says the Billion-Year-Old Man
I want to live a billion years,
Not to set some weird record
But to scratch the eternal itch
Sacredly inflamed by the Devil
In conspiracy against the Gods,
A divine Mission Impossible
To inspire the improbable
And ignite the imagination.
I want to be right there when
The continents grind together
And then break apart again,
A couple dozen times more.
I want to feel mountains rise
And then wear totally away—
I want to taste vast seas rising up
To drown the fucking corruption,
And then receding and revealing
Brand-new innocent landscapes.
I want to touch beings and beasts
As yet unimagined, and trace the
Trajectories of their destinies
From incubation to extinction.
I want to know how life’s spark
Plays this game of musical species,
Shifting shape but not intention
All along the long roads of Time,
Which is just another riddle
Whose trick we might discover
If only we just had more time—
And that’s the devil’s slyness.
You know, these sci-fi guys say
The Sun fries Earth to a crisp
In five billion more years and
So, one billion is enuf for me.
And when I hit a hundred years old
That’s one ten-millionth of my span—
Seemingly the merest beginning
But it’s ALL downhill after that,
Says the billion-year-old man.