I overhear them muse on anti-natalism

I overhear them muse on anti-natalism

Published in The Ekphrastic Review 2024

2 minute read

I overhear them muse on anti-natalism

The bloodline will end with us 

they resolve, for who 

with a grain of conscience would want 

to yoke new lives to the hellscape 

that opens beyond?

Swimming back in time, I tread water

to look up at the suspended flotsam 

of reckless aeons—skimming 

the fine line between death 

and hedonism—a cache of years, 

paused, rarely fretting about 

the future—so invincible was

the armoured high of youth 

coursing on the toss

of a lucky tarot, all hope 

and ambition mixed 

in swilling currents

and daredevilry was all that counted,

never thinking that one would live

to see another sunrise, much less 

stand transformed, reformed,

to bring forth and hold

such precious seeds.

And now they fold away—

discontent clutter-heavy

in the world conferred on them,

and I hear them and their kind—

wise eyes, awakened minds resigned,

the halo of their tragic beauty

beaded by the water’s edge,

resolved to bring no more beings

 into the debris of existence, 

only to walk amid what is left 

and then to fade 

without bearing fruit

in this ripple of ruin

this incessant drip of rust 

and waste, this imploding heap—

the legacy of leached sands 

and defiled oceans

flowing slowly,

running dry.