Life As We Know it
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.