An approximate pyramid of pain,
Stainless-steel and detergent clean;
Fingers thrusting for a cube of light
Tiny in the tundra of the ceiling;
A hierarchy of hysteria
Appears out of antlered limbs,
Skin shrunk to clingfilmed thinness,
Mouths stretched around mute howls,
Eyes pale sparks in bone-cut ditches.
The children and the older ones succumb,
Then slumber brokenly at the bottom;
The air sucked into a vanishing point,
Movement, unwinding, undone slowly.
Even in this death-dealing hutch
People scratch at counterfeit scraps,
Strain for that square of clarity.