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.
Kathleen Hellen’s credits include two poetry chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento, and her prize-winning collection Umberto’s Night, published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House. Her latest collection is The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin. To learn more about her work, visit: https://www.kathleenhellen.com/