Sixth Mass Extinction Event by Theric Jepson


I haven’t seen a bee in over a month.
I don’t know how many other local pollinators
I would even recognize but

I was born in 1976 when models suggested
global cooling as the next big threat
existential in nature by which we meant us
and not Javan tigers or 24-rayed sunstars
or golden toads or dusky seaside sparrows
or Saint Croix racers or Levuana moths
or Pyrenean ibex or baiji dolphins
or Japanese river otters or Scioto madtoms
or the Bermuda saw-whet owl.

The ongoing resurrection of the coelacanth
serves only to mock our own newness and fragility.
Sure we’ve peopled every clime, but
but but but but but intestines threaded through
a steering wheel—a steering wheel that will
last 10thousand years—10 million—long enough for
the next intelligent race to dig up as they
theorize re the Plasticene Era and drop
cigarette butts in their fresh dirt—


The deer and turkey are less shy these days,
crowding our suburban streets like retired biker gangs.
Or no, the turkeys, yes, but the deer are just
worried about what ole Tom will do if the cops show up,
so they look the other way and pretend not to—

This morning, up early, waiting for my ride,
I pulled dandelions from the lawn. Just buds
and flowers. I enjoy our little race as the plants try to bloom
and go to seed before I can toss them to the sidewalk.
I appreciate how, the better I do, the lower grow
the flowers, hidden under their canopy of grass.

This species only grows in lawns—
as reliant on us as soybeans or cannabis
for world domination.

The entire plant is edible. Every bit of it.
Scientists are now, today, running tires made
of dandelion rubber on the road, to see
if our weeds can drive us further down down down

I look at the heads scattered across cement.
& the bees are dying.



Theric Jepson’s poetry has appeared in a number of publications, most of which have never claimed regret for their decision. His chapbook After Chadwick was released in 2015. If you wish to visit him online, alas, is currently crippled by corrupted code, but googling thmazing and seeing what comes up is probably more fun anyway.

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