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There was a nature documentary about a seal, and everyone cheered for it to escape from the polar bear.
There was another nature documentary about a polar bear, and everyone cheered for it to find something to eat before it starves.

The sound of chewing fills the air.
The universe is eating itself while we spill down a river of whitewater habit
on a raft made of deleted Instagram photos.

“This is a pine tree,” says the man on the screen.
“Escape before it’s too late.”
He is holding a seed in the story.

Does he know that the trees are giant Venus flytraps now?
And that we all sleepwalk to gather round the clocktower every night
and wake up swaying and chanting in strange tongues?
Does he know that whenever we close our eyes
we see black pterodactyls and a bald head with gray eyes?

Or is he one of the Others?
Who hear baby birds chirping between their cells,
who take apart cars and suspend their parts from the ceiling on string,
whose feet curl like a monkey’s for perching on bridges and buildings,
whose eyes burn with the markings of the DMT gods,
who vomit up ancient cultural mind viruses,
who lean always into the winds of the unprecedented?
Is that why he speaks that way?

I don’t know.
Can’t be sure of anything anymore.

There is a figure moving toward you in the mist,
dark then light then dark then light
as it passes each rickety street lamp.
It is staring straight at you
and striding forward with intense purpose.

You grip your French horn.
You will use it as a weapon if you need to.

A whale song strains to be heard through tarry waters.
Eighteen-wheelers crash past a discarded doll by the side of the road.
The grandmother queens from our ancient past all look up in unison.
The chewing stops for a moment.

You look down at your open palm as the footsteps fade behind you.
You hold the last seed of the last tree on earth.

You hear a faint, squeaky chirping
emanating from deep within.

The sun is rising.




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