The storm glass agrees
it has been a winter of oddities—
big soft flakes at the surface,
a tangle of collapsing fractals below.
Three Melbourne women in their eighties
have been discovered dead
in unheated rooms,
one in an original origami
of insulating newspaper,
the others in overcoats, in their beds.
A dozen leeches occupying
Merryweather’s glass chambers
sense the next Channel tempest
and undulate for the exit.
Their action triggers the hammer
that strikes a small bell.
In record Paris heat, bottled Perrier
is distributed to the homeless
and Brevet exams are postponed.
Concerns are held for the phoneless
and for those who have not phoned.
The storm glass is a curio, a simple crystal garden.
The leech tubes lie empty in the Whitby town museum.
But within any margin of error
and as far as we can tell—
the more times any bell is struck
the nearer we inch to hell.
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