by Katherine Riegel



What matters? The last of a species
died lonely today and still
the stars spun, like everything spins,
helpless. They say we should not
attribute human feelings to nonhumans

but isn’t helplessness
universal? The car door helpless to stop
before it crushes fingers,

the naked politician helpless to swing
that thing between his legs
like a goddamn hammer
but sure he’s supposed to, sure—
despite averages and anatomy—
because he’s never felt real, tender desire,
never loved a body enough.

What species, you ask?
No human ever named it,
but I have to believe something mourned.





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