By Michael Derrick Hudson
Oh yes my friend, I’ve been there; the insects battering at
the armored lids of your yellowish eyes
the moment you pecked your way out of that rotten shell
and dug out from your sandpit nets . . .
And I’ve experienced the thud thud thud of your days,
the indigestible monotony
of everything’s spiny orangy-green husk. How the sun
gets daily whiter and hotter and just
a little bit closer. The week spent gobbling down your
own weight’s worth of whatever. One stumpy
footprint after another, tracking the trackless, squelching
across last night’s marsh into a volcano-spattered today
hip-deep in ash and yawning
a muzzleful of sulfur. Swishing through stiff fronds,
we drag an unbearable load of tombstones on our back
and a fat lugubrious tail, shit-smutched and
spiked. The flattening of the razor grass. The forgotten
clutch of eggs. Our shrill yaps
and groans. That tiny gray walnut
for a brain and the fat black tongue tough as a bootsole . . .
They’ve explained us away a dozen times: some passing
meteorite or anther, the rat-like mammals
eating our pitiful young, all kinds
of new weather. Issueless, but far too stupid to be forlorn,
we trundle along the pink quartz shore
to sip at the lukewarm edge of yet another evaporating sea.
Michael Derrick Hudson lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Boulevard, Columbia, Fugue, Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Triggerfish Critical Review and Washington Square. He was co-winner of the 2014 Manchester Poetry Prize. His poems won The Madison Review 2009 Phyllis Smart Young Prize, River Styx 2009 International Poetry Contest, and the 2010 and 2013 New Ohio Review contests.
Originally published in NOR 8