“Elegia Nam Homines” by Lynette Mejía

 

When you are done with this place, come
and gone like the dinosaurs before you,

we’ll sit around eating cereal from your boxes,
smoking your cigars, toasting to your waste.

We’ll remember you forever
in our cockroach brains, how you worked so hard

to wipe us off the map, how you hated us
almost as much as yourselves.

When your last calendar has run out, we’ll stop,
look around, note the changes you had wrought,

wonder what might have been different
if some other animal had learned to use fire.

Will it be radiation, perhaps, a spot of nuclear winter,
a microbial revolution wiping the slate of you clean?

It’s all the same to us, really; we’ll settle the dead
pool and move on.

Homo sapiens, you were beautiful

in your terribleness, a hot evolutionary mess,
a contradiction of terms and we loved you

or, at least,
the crumbs you left behind.

_______________

Lynette Mejía has work in Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, Star*Line, and Dreams & Nightmares.

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