constants of physics— the speed
of gravitational attraction, the weak
& the strong forces
of our interactions. If we change
any of these by the tiniest of amounts,
life-like would’ve ever emerged: no plants, no
atmospheres, no solids,
not even the elements except hydrogen & helium,
not even those—which is to say, of course, no
you & I. Please, don’t go. Hold—here—
my hand with the scarred knuckle, remember. The irises
in the light, see—stop it, stop it—hold, here,
the small green lizard who puffs his red-fanned
throat as he waddles by. Think: ninety-nine
percent of all creatures that’ve ever
without sons or daughters.
Not you, no, not now.
Everyone one of our mothers lived.