Jacqueline Powers

Climate Control

How a single stem cell
becomes a map of human need
geography of progress.

How a thousand febrile monkeys
recreate the complete works
of Shakespeare, sonnets included.

This tissue thin membrane
a history of our desire on vellum––
gold leaf embossed.

In renaissance, candles light
alternate routes
navigators fly by the seat of their pants

and a Senegalese family of chimps sharpens
spears to hunt prey
on two splayed feet.

How those first fearsome steps
and the possibilities for annihilation.
Endless forage food

translates the gene squad’s aggression strategy.
Where past is defined as precursor, some
species still devour their own.

Where we’ve always been is always
where we’re headed
but the red-winged blackbird flies the other way,

cheep cheep    like hapless cheerleaders
ignoring sky signs,
purple crocuses already spent.

Big Bang or ozone leak?
Scientists, politicians––
the barometer weeps.


Return to Volume 2.3






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