By Katrina Dybzynska
Yet another tipping point
Two human pregnancies or one of an elephant,
white rhino, orca or a killer whale.
Time that takes for bamboo to grow 498 meters.
Or for your hair to be 22.5 centimetres longer.
Period needed to write The Jungle Book.
Or to cross Sahara by camel, and return.
If it was a baby, by then it would learn to refer to itself
by name, echo what people say and – what is comforting –
understand 10 times more than it can put into words.
Can we transform the whole world of interwoven links
in a time it takes to decompose a cigarette?
You make yourself half of a usual coffee dose,
with half spoon of sugar
The mug this time definitely half empty
You comb half of your hair
While half of your dog
Wiggles its half tail
So you take it to the park
That used to be half as big
You only meet half people
Who half-heartedly tell you half-truths
And it is not until when you are back home at half eleven
That you realize that you yourself are just a half
The other part
Though we know very little about lasting
Imagine the world in which half of what you call home is gone.
Half of everything you love, erased.
New WWF report found that forest animals populations have declined by 53 percent within just 50 years. 1000 times faster than natural extinction rate. Within our lifetimes forests might be inhabited just by the ghosts.
Surely am angry, but the beast? No, merely misunderstood beauty.
I was talking in season changes, waves, frequencies…
I cried, you built dams.
You will think of climate collapse as a payback, yet it is just another language.
One that finally you might comprehend.
PS. Just kidding.
Never been yours.
They will want to know what we believed in.
What did the gods promised us, what miracles
we have been waiting for.
They will speculate what languages we spoke
as they were not able to describe the urgency
or to analyse solutions.
They will research what calendar we used
since it did not predict the end, or what kind of watches
showed that we still have time.
They will look for mitigating circumstances.
Proofs of mass hypnosis, amnesia, manipulation.
They won’t find anything.
Our child would have uneven
teeth and a birth mark on the right
hip. The rest would be a fight
for domination: eyes that change
color, like mine, when I am happy,
or yours so black. that it is impossible
to distinguish them from pupils?
Yours curly or mine straight?
Maybe it would love spicy food
after me or have a pepper allergy
like its father. I wonder if it could
still choose its food.
Would it inherit your pure as seagull’s
laughter, or the one with a hidden question
mark like mine evolved? Would there still
be seagulls for the reference?
Most importantly: would it have lots
of reasons to laugh?
Hopefully it would get skin
after you as it is more resistant
to heat. But you disagree as my skin
colour is more resistant to humans.
You think that we would teach it to protect
nature. Before I leave, I respond
that by then there might not be much left
Katrina Dybznska is an activist and educator. She won the second place award in the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize. She is the author of „Dzień, w którym decydujesz się wyjechać” (The Day When You Decide To Leave), Grand Prix of Rozewicz Open Contest 2017, and is a laureate of national competitions in Poland. She has been publishing short stories, concept book, science fiction, reportage and poetry, but feels most attracted to genre hybrids. Katrina is a graduate of the Polish Non Fiction Institute.
Featured image by Max Wilbert, used with permission.