Reduction

At 9:05 p.m.
The winds pick up
Curls in the clouds
Hurry over
Someone's hand disappears

Nearby
Cars quietly cease to be
Pedestrians become phantoms
The phenomenon nominated on the news

People vanish

I look all around
For something to hold onto
To see if anyone I know
Is no longer

9:14 rolls by
Electricity blinks out
Two children fighting over favourites
Soon find out only one wins
With the toy
Until it drops to the pavement
No owners left

It's felt everywhere
A plague of vacuum
Population dwindling
Fewer left to explain
No touchdown bomb
Just silent subtraction

I choke in horror
Will this be the way of it all
Not merely death: erasure

Tombstone towers
Crowd round the few of us left
Cowering outside
Looking for some kind of reason
Justice for our manipulation of the earth
Some kind of god playing games
Or an idea in a child's head
Subsiding after the sugar rush

So few left now
The watch I don't own
Stops
Man-made, time loses purpose
Without those to afford it attention
So that the sand in the glass
Turns to water
Evaporates
Falls on the forest
The only life left

And you look my way
I catch that smile
This is what happens to the rest of the world

It is 9:23