Saturday, August 24, 2013

Claude's Legacy

Claude shimmies like a nematode
in a droplet of pond water,
squashed onto a glass slide, smashed
beneath the lens of a microscope,
blinded by beams of mirror-light.
Claude wriggles his cilia,
lashes his flagellum, bumps heads
(so to speak) with the other microbes.
Claude twitches and bops,
corkscrews and windmills,
dreams of buying a condo
in the belly of some slightly
larger organism, dreams of climbing
up the food chain, rung
by delicious rung, longs to become
 a big chief, a real player
in the big leagues. Instead,
he finds himself poked and prodded
by miniscule instruments,
dyed and exiled to the circular cell
of the Petri dish, fed a steady diet
of bland agar, instructed to multiply.
Claude groans. He knows what an impediment
it is to have a family, knows that nothing
prevents success more, knows that even when
that old ball and chain is too small to be seen
with the naked eye, it will still
weigh you the fuck down. It may further the species
but it will keep you from ever evolving.
He looks at all the tiny Claudes
sprouting from his backside, and curses
that giant eye staring through the lens,
screaming, You may have destroyed my dreams,
but you'd better keep your goddam mitts off
my beautiful heirs.

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