Alyse Bensel's poem "Extinction Theory" appears in Issue No. 54: The Everyday.
Children practice violence
drawing and quartering earthworms.
Their segments survive in the soil.
Final endings: the rodents driven
off the cliff, the mastodon’s skull
shattered on the rocks below.
With inevitable self-destruction,
who am I to nurture the earth,
with its fallout etched in half-lives
for the next x thousand years?
Breathing pesticides and exhaust,
I am laced in a future
perfumed with smog, my melody
pitched fragments in a dying spectacle.
ALYSE BENSEL is the author of Rare Wondrous Things, a poetic biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (Green Writers Press, forthcoming 2020), and three chapbooks, including Lies to Tell the Body (Seven Kitchens Press, 2018). She loves cicadas so much she has one tattooed on her ankle. She teaches at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.
Read the other poems, stories, and art from Ruminate's Issue 54: The Everyday.
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