Ode to the Never-ending

The universe says you'll get smacked
       with a lesson as many times as it takes

for you to learn it— If that's so, what 
       lesson could possibly be in this tiny,

annoying hair that keeps growing back 
       in the same spot, on the right side of 

your chin? You stand on tiptoe to get a better 
      angle at the mirror; tweezers in hand, you 

pull it out, marveling at how a small irritation 
      commands total absorption. A week later, 

it's back—nagging feeling, indetermnate itch. 
      In Virginia Beach, 4 dead humpback whales 

have washed up on the shore since
      the beginning of the year— you could say 

they are also a kind of lesson that hasn't 
      been learned. Necropsies show injuries

consistent with vessel strikes in waters
      thick with ship traffic. If the world is ending,

each cetacean body that perishes on sand
      is a fallen leaf, a wound bled open in the middle

of a horizon of false starts. We keep saying 
      there's time, the window's still open. Until it's not. 

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