When Oxygen Went Extinct

A blue fish with white scales

His eye, the sun.  Its scales

rippling, eye staring,

mouth gulping in all

the oxygen of the world.

            Its deep breaths pulled the ocean up,

            relentless as extinction:

            clouds of whales

            zephyrs of hydroids

             rains of plankton

            twisters of eels,

            stirring in weather patterns

            from ground to the edge of the troposphere.

                        Carbon dioxide fell into rivers, filled the Grand canyon,

                        swimming pools, the Pacific ocean– replacing

                        what was taken as the sky was shaped to the thing’s liking.

                                    We live as a race of scuba divers now, mining air where we can find it,

                                    hunting the wetter skies, scavenging animals that fall into lakes and bodies

                                    of invisible tides, keeping sharks and roaches as pets. We send the former out

                                    on hunting missions. The latter digs tunnels, little lungs relentlessly

                                    scouting the freshest air for our filters to harvest. Oxygen is the new platinum;

                                                                                                                        Vermin, the new gods.


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