What They Built

Buildings stand as monuments to what we’ve built.

Ruins stand as monuments to what they built.

Mountains stand as monuments to what time built.

What time built? Through time and space, dust alights and chemicals trace. Unbound by gravity, yet bound, hemmed in by dark matter or some other thing we do not understand.

So vast, so vast, this empty space. A tiny spacecraft topples endlessly into the void. We sent it out there bearing greetings to the Universe. Bearing bleatings to the Universe. Empty pleadings to the Universe.

We are so grand, says man, as we plant our flags in foreign lands. And none so foreign lands exist as that dusty Sea of Tranquillity.

Persevere, Mars rover. Persevere, mankind. If we try hard enough the next ones might just find the remnants of what we leave behind.

For even the mighty mountains erode and ruins are swallowed by sand.

What will become then of these roads and cities we’ve built all across the land?

Ah: but these too will fall. Not tomorrow, perhaps. Not in a day or in a month. But just as life slips through our fingers time treads on and Eternity is ever-patient.

Eternity awaits the shopping mall. Eternity awaits the highways. Eternity awaits all ash and bone and creatures long replaced by other creatures. Snapping beaks rush to escape a cloud of toxic dust.

And the horizon is so bright. The horizon is so bright and everything is melting. Everything is together.

And then this rock, so vital now, becomes nothing but another age-cracked space marble. Burnt beyond recognition. Swallowed and melted in the expanding furnace of our sun. Our planet, scrap metal; like so many recycled refrigerators.