October 18, 2021

tusk

by Kathleen Hellen

He says he checked the tires. The battery for free. A less complicated being? Unlike me, asking where he dumped the oil, under the gray hydraulic lift. Where he drained the antifreeze. I know the planet’s bubbling hot, sopping up the ice sheet, a million species headed toward extinction like the auk. Who’ll mariner the flotsam? Rise to top? I know for sure I can’t compete. I won’t survive the fittest. The ones who strike the options. Fight the private fires. The ones who own the chocolate factories on Mars. Hymn on higher ground. I want to say despite the Tinder swipe to right, he won’t evolve outside this waveless bay. He won’t increase. His genes a node pruned from the phylogenetic tree. I want (so much) to say we’re slipping like a glacier toward metonymy.

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