The Last Baron – for Jen Stoy
The old lord woke. A ping and then a creak.
A shield had failed, and then a hiss of air
escaping slowly. His electric chair
moved fast as bulkheads crashed down, but the leak
was everywhere. He watched them on the screens,
the gasping servants he had left. Their deaths
meant he could count on several thousand breaths
in the few rooms with oxygen. Some beans
grew in the last vat. He would sit quite still
rather than reach and pick them. In his pride
waited for food and water, and then died.
Miles beneath, some cockroaches, some krill.
Mostly just ash. The rich left when Earth burned.
Now shooting stars, their failing homes returned.