The King’s Edition

Erica Wright | Poetry

Turns move clockwise,
each player naming
a species then pretending
their lives impart lessons
we can follow. A feather
on a tomb or a plant
that eats other plants.
For every marble we steal,
another forms in our gut
that cannot be got rid of
with guile or incision.
The scalpel wasn’t always
rusted, but we’ve been moving
around this board for ages
and we’ve forgotten as many
animals as we loved,
the elephant bird laying
her treasures in a tired forest,
the giant lemur lifting
her body into the sky.
Sometimes men are called
pioneers and do all sorts of harm.