We must count in Babylon.
Surely in Babylon we must count,

count the days and the dead,
the chambers of the palace,

its stones, its steps, its
flaring lamps, must count

the clouds, the petals of the flowers,
the hours, we must count the hours

as they pass
so slowly for the young,

so swiftly for the withered
masters of this place,

ardent assassins of speech
hidden away. Surely

in Babylon we must count
the gardens tended, the towers raised

by slaves in this city
soon to be dust, count

the days and the dead.
Must we count the dust?