Webcam the World

By Heather McHugh

Get all of it. set up the shots
at every angle; run them online
24-7. Get beautiful stuff (like
scenery and greenery and style)
and get the ugliness (like cruelty
and quackery and rue). there’s nothing
unastonishing – but get that, too. We have

to save it all, now that we can, and while.
Do close-ups with electron microscopes
and vaster pans with planetcams.
it may be getting close
to our last chance –
how many

millipedes or elephants are left?
How many minutes for mind-blinded men?
Use every lens you can – get Dubliners
in fisticuffs, the last Beijinger with
an abacus, the boy in Addis Abada who feeds
the starving dog. And don’t forget the cows

in neck-irons, when barns begin
to burn. the rollickers at clubs,
the frolickers at forage – take it all,
the space you need: it’s curved. Let
mileage be footage, let year be light. Get
goggles for the hermitage, and shades for whorage. Don’t be boggled by totality: we’re here to save the world without exception. it will serve

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