Poem Written By An Evolutionist Who Believes In The Soul
Poem By Michael Meyerhofer
They say there are more people living now
on this earth than have ever lived before
which means, in terms of reincarnation,
that some of the people we pass on streets
must have been snails or badgers once,
since there are only so many human spirits
to go around—or maybe they were clouds
of atoms drifting through the wet vapor.
Perhaps the disgruntled toll booth operator
is the compilation of nine coconut trees and
the cranium of a pterodactyl, plus two lilies
and a salt shaker burnt up in a kitchen fire.
And I myself carry the essence of penguins
amid the faint consciousness of a tennis ball,
sharing space with those who were giraffes
and hippos, swatting flies with their fat tails.
If so, surely this means too that population
is not just the product of low infant mortality
plus a great deal of unprotected sex, but rather
the graduation of lesser species on their way
towards an age when life will float the cosmos
as joyful flutters of immeasurable raw energy,
without memory, light as light but twice as fast,
presiding over the cold stone of dead planets.