Marlena Chertock

MY BODY IS AS OLD AS PRECAMBRIAN EARTH
 

My body is as old as precambrian earth,
its tectonic plate shifts sound
like the big bang. Bacteria-me
floats in the hypoxia sea.
I’m multicellular, but not living
a full life. I burrow in the mud,
enriching the sea with oxygen
by hiding my ancient body.

This oxygen encourages evolution
of soft-bodied creatures.
sponges, worms, mollusks,
horseshoe crabs. My body
is from the earliest eon,
its pre-bones dusty with decay.
I’m the first animals
that built coral reefs, my calcium

carbonate exoskeleton melts
into the others. Coral will last
until homo sapiens
bleach me.
Pangaea took three phases
to breakup during my ancient life.

My body lasts eons, endures
millennia more before it breaks.


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