Belle Epoque hatmakers decimated populations
of hummingbirds, herons, birds-of-paradise,
sometimes mounting them whole and stuffed,
pinned to felt and velvet–little treasures.
Barons logged the West Virginia mountains
to the point where someone compared the land
to the surface of the moon. Almost half the forests
burnt. You can find railroad ties in most woods.
These are just two stories about one point in time,
and it’s easier, in hindsight, knowing all we know
with supercomputing (made with materials mined
from the Earth, same ones in our smartphones).
It’s easier to keep the machine going even though
we can’t see ahead, easier than to scrap the damn thing.