In that time, just a few remained
who asked why each bud of the rock rose
bloomed for just one day,
or why the female mayfly
winged up from lake-bound larval mud
only to die before she’d breathed the sky five minutes—
though not before mating and laying her silver-sac’d eggs
in the waters from which she’d just emerged—
or why the human eye so honors flames
and sunsets, those brief sculptures of orange
and crimson too soon subsumed
by ash or dusk. Or why the art
of grave digging had undergone a renaissance,
the earth perfumed with bodies adolescent, unbloomed.

“Ephemeroptera” was originally published in 5 AM.

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