Put simply, the wanting was for one thing only:
to plant a seed. To bear fruit. Never mind
the world was ending. I closed my eyes
and saw Shivashakti: Destruction himself
making love to his wife. I saw a tank gun stuffed
with daisies, the dance of nitrogen and algae.
I tended sunflowers and a few heads of cabbage,
paper machéd my fence with one dollar bills.
On YouTube, a trembling black rhinoceros
lay on her side, dying of old age. I clipped the weeds
and warmed the cream. Whisked four yolks
with a quarter cup sugar. These were the last days
of our leisure, simple pleasure—
giving blood meal to the kitchen window tomatoes,
eating a sandwich of roast beef with horseradish.
Meanwhile, humanity waged a long war with itself,
unable to stave its great paper hunger.
At eighteen, brave and bursting, I shared a house
with two heroin junkies. They ate only ice cream
and white sugar with a spoon.
I thought they were harmless enough, but now I know.
They were killing their mothers.
It was hard to know how much longer we had.
The weather was terribly unpredictable.
I could neither numb nor fool my itching womb.
The wanting kept me spinning thread between finger and thumb,
wondering what could be sacrificed so that I might be blessed.
Tigers, I thought, I would miss, but countless others were already gone,
unnamed and unnoticed. I watched. Some eggs hatched, others were eaten.
Some kittens nursed, others lay inert. A robin careened into the greenhouse,
slumped into the geraniums. I left him there to die in peace,
but he didn’t.