We shall not last

even if a tremble of portents are
assuaged by the dark children of future decades

even if we dodge probability with some nimble
mathematics barely apprehended

     even if our final balance of dawdling
     fills no more than a thimble

even if we are forgiven

     I say: if combatant claims divide our attempts
     to hold close the atomic pile of our genetics

     if our last days are made shorter by a
     hunger refined through a tense trigger finger

if these thin words are our only ranked bulwarks
against calamity 

if only poets write

This form is called a wry­neck, and was cre­at­ed by poet R.A. Vil­lanue­va. I’m still not very good with it, prob­a­bly most­ly because I don’t like leav­ing things open end­ed. I was think­ing about how writ­ing can seem exis­ten­tial­ly futile, but also how writ­ing (or any cre­ative endeav­or) is an act of defi­ance in the face of exis­ten­tial futil­i­ty. Being stub­born is what keeps us extant.

The indent­ing sep­a­rates sec­tions of sim­i­lar theme. Here, in par­tic­u­lar, the indent­ed sec­tions are destruc­tive and the reg­u­lar sec­tions are (arguably) cre­ative in theme.