There’s no law that says
life needs to get more complicated.
In fact, it’s difficult to grow big.
Humanity has always been improbable,
but occurred when two single cells
floated—perhaps they wanted
each other?—into one. Even a host
can learn to love a leech. This is molecular:
One thing cares for another, in a way
it could never care for itself. Everything
you know was born from this sacrifice. Red-
woods stretched, shellfish bristled the floor.
Life, in even the simplest form, has always
been a matter of finding the energy.
Copyright © 2017 by Lizzie Harris. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 21, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.