The scientists say fungi are more closely related to animals—to us—
than multicellular plants. The truth: the shiitake in your fridge
would treat you better than half the men in the bar tonight,
and it’d taste better too.
I won’t cry when the Anthropocene ends.
Instead, I’ll breathe in the spores and thank God.
You’re calling it the apocalypse,
and I tell you that it means lifting the veil—
I tell you this thing is ancient—a revelation. This is the last orgasm.
It’s Eternity. Soft skulls of mushrooms are pushing up
through our pores
and I’m whispering to you that they’re loving us like men would—
eating us raw, sucking on our bones, marrying our bodies—
only, this is better than men.
But when the mycelium fills my mouth, and I can no longer
breathe, I want to tell you how
you remind me of the moon; to hold your hand;
to let you know
I’m still here, but this
You’re looking at me with eyes that ask
if this is the end, but I think:
This feels like
Copyright © 2021 Edwin WIlliamson. This poem originally appeared on poets.org as part of the 2021 University and College Poetry Prizes. Used with permission of the author.
If I can’t save us
then let me feel you
happy and safe
under my chin.
If this will drown
then let us drink starlight
nap under trees
sing on beaches—
the morning rush to sit indoors
If we are dying
then let me rip open
and bleed Love,
spill it, spend it
see how much
the reward for misers is
If this life is ending
then let me begin
a new one
Copyright © 2020 Lynna Odel. From All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis (One World, 2020) edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. Used with the permission of the editors.
who believe in the senses,
I was an accountant,
Permitted to touch
the leaf of a thistle,
work of a spider.
To ponder the Hubble’s recordings.
It did not matter
if I believed in
the party of particle or of wave,
as I carried no weapon.
It did not matter if I believed.
I weighed ashes,
cities that glittered like rubies,
on the scales I was given,
in units of fear and amazement.
I wrote the word it, the word is.
I entered the debt that is owed to the real.
spine-covered leaf, soft-bodied spider,
one curious tentacle back toward the hand of the diver
that in such black ink
I set down your flammable colors.
from Ledger (Knopf, 2020); first appeared in The Times Literary Supplement. Used by permission of the author, all rights reserved.