How lucky that nature’s not around the bend
or apoplectic and doesn’t ever need
fentanyl or dope to make the end
more bearable. Things do die violently,
of course, but hurt is never the intent.
The creatures of the field, even the bugs,
they all must all eat—each other. That moment
when the quick is rendered into food—a plug
of meat, some bloody ribs, or just a bare
bone—is hard for us, but a chinchilla
in the Andes isn’t poor and won’t despair
at being eaten up. It isn’t thrilled
at getting caught, but the moment soon passes
like the shadow of a cloud along the cliffs.
We sat together in the dark
and talked about those other worlds
Enrico Fermi thought might be
awash with aliens
because his numbers pointed up
the likelihood of teeming life
among the stars. But where, alas,
did everybody go?
You’d think, perhaps, the prodigies
would come to us or play upon
our signals and reciprocate
—though not if they were bugs.
It could be that they flamed out
the same way we might disappear,
in Malthusian catastrophes
we bring upon ourselves,
or maybe, by design, they’ve gone
to hide beyond Andromeda
because they realized long ago
how frequently we lie.
We’re not worth knowing in the end,
a filthy, biomechanical,
weapons-bearing form of life
that builds amusement parks.
Of all the heavens haven’t said,
the best by far I think is this,
that we, together in the dark,
aspire not to care.
John Foy’s first book is Techne’s Clearinghouse (Zoo Press). His poems are featured in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets and have appeared widely in journals and online. He has poems forthcoming in The Hudson Review and Rabbit Ears – An Anthology of TV Poems. He has been a guest-blogger for The Best American Poetry. Visit him at www.johnffoy.net.