Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Lion’s Share

The whole world has a fever,
And you’re it. Meanwhile, your world
Of humans has a fever,

And we’re responding to it.
It’s not clear that the planet
Can respond as a system,

But you humans have changed things
As much in yourselves as in
The skin of this living rock—

You are individuals,
Still, sort of, just one more kind
Of lumbering beast machine,

Each one symbiotic host
To microorganisms,
Pocketing their endless wars,

Piloted by a complex
Nervous system steering you
Like any beast in the world.

But look what you’ve gone and done
To all yourselves with our help—
You’ve linked up and become one.

You didn’t evolve to be
This superorganism—
You evolved as just the beasts

To serve the perfect platform
On which your tongues could evolve
A being made out of you,

Your monster, your chimera,
Your leviathan, poor you—
Hosts now to beings above

While still hosts to those below—
So these days, when plagues strike you,
We collectively respond.

You still die one at a time,
Sad cells, coordinating
Counterattacks as you go.

We don’t need any of you,
Not any single one, but
We need the majority

Of you to give us the room
To be who we’re becoming,
To orchestrate the monster,

And when you suffer from plague,
Your leviathan does, too,
And we’re the immune system

Minimizing loss of you.
No need to save all of you,
Just the lion’s share will do.

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