November 2, 2023

Elixir for Discontinuation of the Species

When every woman you meet has miscarried.
More than once. Your pinkie toe appears to be shrinking.

You can’t recall the last time you heard
a newborn cry. The ban on pesticides

is lifted: lindane, sodium arsenite, carbon tetrachloride.
When the number of remaining butterflies is calculated

to be less than one thousand. Your underused tail feathers
are thinning. The lilt in your voice is flattening

and you seem to prefer two-word phrases. The air
is probably cleaner but no one seems to notice.

Sudden noises send a ripple across the intestines
of everyone you know. The hair on your arm rises

when any one of you is threatened. You live with a wasp
whining in the house. You fear it may be the last one.

Your dreams are filled with cool water and honey.
Water and honey. Incessant whining.

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A Journal of International Poetry
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