Natural Selection

Technicians in lab coats predict
our family’s extinction. Squatters
in the uterus grow fat on estrogen
and wasted space; a skeptical chamber
tips away. What did Darwin know
that we don’t? What chromosomal
frailty backtracks here? Birds with two
beaks. Monkeys without tails.

Fortunes told, we are free to risk,
eat out-of-date seafood, careen
without seat belts. We swim
immediately after dinner, wash
pension money at the blackjack table,
open umbrellas indoors. We dress
the dog in foot pyjamas and smooth
his worried brow. We turn out

cupboards, tip drawers, roll rotting
logs, scrabble to rocks and wait
the night where the sea leaves life
in pools, certain we’ve lost something.
We try the 7-Eleven, the skate park, troll
gum-cracking girls and hooded boys
on dirt bikes for your father’s eyes,
my mother’s one turn of phrase.