Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Sixty-Seventy Thousand Generations

Of fully modern, African humans,
Your species as such, that is, give or take.

You count back, what? Three, four in memory,
Twelve to fifteen if you’ve done ancestries,

Thirty if you’re a princess or a prince
From imperial Britain or Japan.

Past that, anyone’s ancestors are mist.
History? Specific to no one’s kin,

Just any kind of record-keeping,
Two, three hundred generations at most.

The point of this poem, one of those odd poems
That seems to want to make a point? Not time.

Not how small you are. (You are. Also, large.)
The point is the pattern under your skin,

The probable capacities of all
Those generations, dozens of thousands

Of them, like you, speaking and singing myths,
However strange and lost forever now

In that absolute nothing only souls
And stories, not being material

Ever get to know, must have included
How many, how many, many lost poems?

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