The End of the World

by Michael Meyerhofer


Actually, it’s farting cows that’ll kill us,
claims an ecology professor at the party
passing around joints and Heineken.

Think of all those cattle ranches out there,
two billion cows planted hoof-deep,
blossoming into T-bones and burgers,

those leftover tons of methane flop
enough to trump the smog from cities,
great human herds of cars and planes.

Mark my words, he promises in slurs,
sooner or later, it’ll catch up with us–
carcasses piled like mangled radishes.

How odd, after my grandfather’s fear
of mushroom clouds and mine of
redheaded asteroids stuffing the sky

with cinders, to imagine Armageddon
heralded not by angels, but the Big Mac.
I remember hearing that Easter Island,

for all its regal statues in top hats,
toppled into savagery and cannibalism
because natives forgot to plant trees,

ran out of wood for boats, fishing, fires.
Once, I caught grasshoppers in a jar
but didn’t think to feed them. Days later:

wilted glyphs of green-glazed bones,
the strongest one—an albino—dead just
the same. I slipped out the back porch,

buried its corpse like a petrified sin.

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